How can the IoT benefit my business?
We now know what IoT is all about, it's about connecting machines, devices, our ‘things’ to the internet. The reasons for connecting them is to collect data from those things, so we know what’s going on with them.
Of course, there are some costs involved in connecting our stuff, so what benefits would we get from incurring those costs? First, we will look at the day to day operational benefits, along with the longer-term strategic benefits of using the IoT. Secondly, we consider the financial benefits.
Business benefits of connecting the IoT
|Operational Benefits||Strategic Benefits|
|Knowing where things are, spotting traffic problems, changing delivery schedules, re-routing drivers ‘on the fly’||Optimising routes, Staffing level planning, Driver re-training, vehicle performance evaluation|
|Fire, Smoke, Water, Access Breach||Actuarial data for insurers, Statistical data for first responders|
|Call to action when limits breached, open/close, stop/start decisions on associated devices||Cold chain records for perishable goods, QA metrics against contract|
|Real time monitoring of power and water usage||Data for billing purposes|
|Action to refill when empty, action to sudden loss of level||Historic rates of use for production planning.|
|Call to action on leak detection||Flow meter data for capacity planning, leak losses for planning repair/renewal schedules|
|Call to action when machine is down or to prompt re-fill when product is sold out.||What products are selling/not selling? Comparisons with other machines for optimising location.|
|Real time information on parking availability||Historic data to monitor peak time use, adjusting charging structure|
|Call to action on lamp failure||Data on failure rate of lamps and power consumption|
|Call to action on bin levels for collection.||Historic data on rate of bin filling, route planning for bin collection.|
|Medical response, call prompt to lone worker, colleague assistance||Staffing levels, lone worker training, billing of services (e.g. falls responders and other social care services)|
Operational Benefits of IoT
The data we get from an IoT connection also allows us to look at trends, get historic data that can be processed into everything from sending out a bill to changing the mix of products we put in a vending machine or optimising staffing levels. These data help in our planning and strategic decision making.
So, from an IoT connection we get both the information that allows us to take immediate action but also an accumulation of data that can help improve the way we run our business.
That’s all very well you may say, but what about the money? How do I justify the expense of connecting things to the IoT?
Financial benefits of using IoT in your business
Of course every business, every organisation is different. Some may see the benefits of connecting their assets or products as a way to generate new revenues, developing new services to offer their customers. The reason to connect a device may be to reduce costs.
Here are a few examples……
|Things||Financial Benefits of Connecting to the IoT|
|Vehicles||Reducing fuel costs, increased revenue though better utilisation rates and load optimisation|
|Alarm systems||Reduced insurance costs, Alarm receiving centres (ARCs) can offer more comprehensive services|
|Temperature Sensors||Reduced losses of perishable goods|
|Meters||More accurate and timely billing|
|Tanks||Optimised truck rolls to empty/refill, reducing costs|
|Vending machines||Increased sales, reduced site visits|
|Car Parks||Higher occupancy levels through real time information of availability, optimised TOD charging|
|Street lights||Reduced maintenance costs|
|Recycling bins||More timely collections, optimised site visits|
|Wearable Devices||Increased productivity of medical staff, longer independent living|
|HVAC (Buildings Management)||Reduced energy costs|
|Virtual Power Plants||Higher revenues from renewable energy and storage|
|Industrial Products||New business models based on rentals rather than purchase, higher utilisation rates, reduced down time. (generators, lift motors, UPS systems, production tools)|
|Vehicles (again)||Stolen vehicle recovery system reduces insurance costs|
|Smart agriculture (crops)||Watering systems control by sensors reduce costs|
|Smart agriculture (livestock)||Location monitoring reduces theft and accidental loss|
|Electric vehicle charging points||Maximises availability and revenues, reduces down time|
|Lighting (Buildings management)||Reduced energy costs|
|Equipment hire (diggers, skips, tippers, drills etc)||Increased revenue through better utilisation rates,|