6 ways the IoT can benefit your network right now
Posted on August 11, 2017
You know all about the Internet of Things (IoT)—it’s that remarkable technology revolution that’s already in full swing and is bound to make a big difference to everyone’s lives before too long.
But if you are a technical decision maker in a traditional business, chances are you’re probably not expecting to integrate IoT technologies into your business network just yet.
That’s hardly surprising, as specialist IoT analyst firm MachNation says three quarters of the 24 billion devices that should be connected by 2025 will be sold to large enterprises and public sector organisations.
But before you write off the IoT completely, bear in mind there are already plenty of ways you can extend the usefulness of your corporate data network, while cutting costs and reducing risks through connected devices.
Here are six you might want to consider...
Hooking your surveillance systems up to your business network is easy, and means you can monitor the state of your offices from anywhere in the world. Mainstream technology vendors such as Belkin or D-Link offer IP cameras for less than $200.
Google’s Nest kick-started interested in adding intelligence to the humble thermostat, and the result is you can now choose from a wide range of connected temperature controllers with which to help cut company energy bills without breaking into a sweat.
With almost a fifth of global electricity use being the result of lighting, it makes sense to invest in smart light bulbs that will switch off automatically when not required. Besides helping to save you money, smart lighting could also contribute to productivity.
While intelligent thermostats save money by helping your business maintain the best temperature for your workers, adding intelligence to heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) can cut costs further by avoiding peak power use.
If you run a vehicle fleet, adding telematics systems can make a big difference to your business risk and costs. You can track the location and status of each vehicle via your business’s internet connection, to make sure your assets are where they should be at all times.
One of the most frequently cited IoT applications is the fridge that orders more milk when you run out. In reality, though, IoT-based fridges are increasingly being put to more cost-and safety-conscious uses in sectors from hospitality to healthcare.
Taking advantage of most of these IoT innovations in most cases requires nothing more than a business internet service and a trip to your local hardware store.
With a growing range of smart devices to choose from, the question is not whether you should start investigating the IoT, but when. And MachNation says you should look for four things from your IoT vendor, before diving in:
- Solution-based offerings. Large enterprises often cobble together IoT technology from up to six or seven vendors. Talk to your telco vendor about a single solution that that makes testing, security, deployment, and ongoing management simple.
- Pay-as-you-go pricing. If you don't have a large capital budget for technology, you’re in luck: many IoT vendors offer pay-as-you-go pricing that scales with the size of your deployment.
- Promotional offers that reduce deployment risk. Look for vendors that offer try-before-you-buy and other promotional offers aimed at reducing the risk of an IoT deployment. Keep in mind that IoT is a relatively new technology.
- High-quality technology support team. Your IT department has probably got better things to do than dabble in the IoT, so make sure you have good technology support from your adviser or vendor.
In a nutshell, by adding simple IoT technologies you can extend the usefulness of your business network.
As well as handling communications, with the IoT your data network can start becoming the foundation for a smarter work environment that responds intelligently to anything from physical security threats, through to changes in the weather.