By Yunus Scheepers, CIO, Nashua
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been described as the anchor of the 21st century industrial revolution that will connect everything around us as well as increase productivity and efficiency. Predictions estimate the growth of the IoT will reach 50 billion objects by 2020.
Chief Information Officer of South Africa’s leading business solutions provider, Nashua, Yunus Scheepers unpacks what a world with many internet-connected devices will look like.
How IoT will change your life
IoT describes a growing network of connected variables which include sensors, processors and chips that have the ability to interact with other devices on a network. The computers, smart phones and printers we use have the capacity but now we’re starting to see televisions, cars and industries being able to receive data or being controlled remotely.
Soon every device you own – and nearly every object you can imagine – will be connected to the Internet. Whether it’s through your phone, wearable tech or everyday household object. Imagine a smart office which sets the optimal workplace temperature throughout the day – that’s soon becoming a reality. No more fights about whether it’s too hot or too cold.
The new business
Businesses should be the top adopters of IoT solutions to improve the bottom line by lowering operating costs, increasing productivity and expanding into new markets or developing new product offerings.
Change is coming to the office building too and it’s geared towards worker and customer convenience. IoT allows more data for your business than you currently track. This opens the door to learn more in-depth metrics on consumers and their behaviours, your employees and how they work, and even details on how the business operates. IoT means more software and data management systems to manage and implement this information.
Nashua, a solutions innovator to put businesses ahead has implemented IoT in their printing software. Pro-Act Nashua is a device that sits in all of Nashua’s printers and picks up any abnormal behaviour before something actually happens to the printer and alerts the user that there will be an upcoming issue. This is a proactive solution to better manage consumer issues.
IoT means faster inventory management systems. Having all your equipment devices and products into the same network allows for efficiency – instantly updating numbers is at your disposal and tapping into metrics can be done easily form anywhere.
Interconnected devices will include everything from robots to cars and the public transportation system. This means shorter commute times for employees and faster deliveries. You get everything you need faster, but on the one hand, customers will expect and demand faster and more efficient service.
Machines and equipment in industries will operate smoother and maintenance routines become easier. The bottom line is that less money will be spent to produce inventory ad most of your costs will likely decrease.
IoT will change how we do business. Remote work will become even more feasible. Thanks to cloud-hosted software in devices like tablets and our smartphones is already an option for many professionals. With IoT all devices are manageable on one network – given just a tablet and an internet connection you’ll be able to manage an entire store, team or production line.
The downside of IoT integration
Tech and device management can be a complex task. For IoT to work at its optimum point devices need to be updated with the latest software and connected to the network. This will be expensive and demanding. Some industries will also disappear or radically change when IoT becomes mainstream. Some might even become obsolete, for example the logistics and delivery industry will become completely automated.
Businesses need to pay close attention to how their industries develop and be prepared for major changes. There will be sectors that will start to be higher demand allowing for more profitability and entry to new entrepreneurs. It’s important to watch how this new tech develops and get your business to gradually adapt to changes and reap the benefits of IoT.