The Internet of Things is widely regarded to be a complication for most IT professionals — but it can also be a boon to those who are on the data side of things. The IoT can be used to collect large amounts of data over a tremendous network canvas, and this data can be used to improve upon all levels of the company’s operations.
Maintenance and Repairs
Sensors are frequently being used to ensure that equipment is properly maintained and repaired as necessary. Any sensor that is connected through the Internet (is an Internet of Things device) can be used for the purposes of business analytics, telling companies important factors such as how frequently equipment breaks down, when it is likely to break down, and how severe these break downs are. Through this, companies are able to better fine-tune their repair and maintenance systems, ultimately improving upon their operations and reducing the amount of business interruption they experience.
Employee Tracking and Management
Employees are the most frequent users of the Internet of Things by far — through their smartphone. Employee smartphones contain a wealth of information, and when employees are given smartphones that are specifically used for work it opens up a wealth of business analytics opportunities. Employees can have their time tracked automatically, can be contacted wherever they are, and can be easily analyzed to ensure that they are put in the positions in which they perform best. Automating the process of employee tracking — such as by tracking hours based on where employees are at the time — can reduce errors and increase accuracy and accountability.
Enterprise Resource Planning
New ERP solutions are now integrating the IoT directly into their analytics, collecting and consolidating data for the company to use. This can be as simple as tracking employee hours through GPS and as complicated as managing remote sensors for equipment. ERP solutions are especially useful when it comes to warehousing, shipping, and other logistics applications, as the IoT can be used to track warehouse inventory and supply. Through the Internet of Things, ERP solutions can potentially update with real-time business analysis. Even better, ERP solutions provide a consolidated network through which this integration can occur.
Supply and Equipment Tracking
Of course, the IoT doesn’t always need an overly sophisticated application — sometimes it can simply be used to analyze and improve upon ordinary office expenditures. Everything from a printer to a fax machine today is connected to the Internet. Through business analytics, companies will be able to track and analyze their supply expenditures and other office-related needs. Companies can potentially determine in advance which supplies the business needs on a daily basis, and they will know exactly what they need to order to keep things running smoothly.
The Internet of Things is growing with every day for most businesses. Businesses that don’t embrace this technology won’t be able to remain competitive with those that do. If a device or piece of equipment is connected to the Internet, it’s very likely that there is data available that could help the business grow.