4 ways to prepare your business for the Internet of Things

Posted on August 23, 2017

Internet Ofthings

The days of internet connectivity being limited to computer and mobile devices are drawing to a close.

Internet of Things (IoT) devices are already on our doorstep, opening a new world where everyday objects are be able to send and receive data through the web, creating a new way to harvest analytics and improve operations.

The early days of IoT has seen the advent of things like refrigerators that can self-order products that are running low, electricity monitoring devices that manage consumption and allow the ability to turn devices on and off remotely, as well as home devices that feature virtual assistants like Siri.

This is just the infancy of IoT, though, with endless possibilities for companies to utilise connected devices to improve the way they do business.

Internet of Things to become more mainstream

Tech experts are predicting that more than half of new businesses  will run on the IoT by 2020—which is just three years away.

As the scope of this technology advances, so too does the scope with which it can be used.

IoT is capable of creating a new era of automation, allowing components in an assembly line to communicate with each other, diagnose problems and rectify them on the fly without the need for human intervention.

Smart sensors are already being rolled out across the world, increasing efficiency and reducing waste on conveyor line. These sensors can also be installed in physical objects like concrete walls, with the ability to transmit the structural integrity to other devices.

It’s a game-changer in agricultural applications, with IoT systems able to survey the entire landscape and all of its variables, reporting data back to farmers, transport and supply companies.

And the long game is smart cities, entirely connected and able to deliver automated systems that can monitor and control everything from garbage collection to transport, food, air, water and land use.

IoT Programme Head at techUK Matthew Evans said:  "IoT offers us the opportunity to be more efficient in how we do things, saving us time, money and often emissions in the process. It allows companies, governments and public authorities to re-think how they deliver services and produce goods."

How ready is Australia to embrace IoT?

Global market research firm IDC has installed Australia in fourth place on the Asia Pacific IoT Readiness index,ahead of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.

IDC’s associate vice president for IoT research in Asia Pacific Hugh Ujhazy said: "Both Australia and New Zealand must be considered attractive investment targets, by virtue of their level of overall infrastructure maturity, size of the digitally-aware skills base and the level of innovation expressed in those markets."

A report by technology research firm Telsyte predicts Australia's IoT market will hit $5 billion by 2021. The same report reveals that 40 per cent of Australian homes already have at least one IoT device installed, and that the average home will have 31 IoT-enabled devices by 2021.

How you can prepare your business for IoT

There are a range of things you can do to get ready for IoT, including:

  •  Improving current systems of big data collection and analytics. This will involve establishing improved cloud systems and installing remote systems capable of reading and reporting on this data. This is already becoming vital in business, and is be absolutely crucial in handling IoT.
  • Trial the hardware. GPS devices, tracking systems and other data-related devices are already available on the market. Getting the handle on them and developing strategies will improve your readiness for a full IoT system.
  • If you haven't already, try your hand at machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. This technology has been around for decades, but is the forerunner of IoT. Improved data centres and technology has made M2M a greatly improved tool in the modern world.
  • Optimise your internet connection. Speak to us at Vocus Communications about the best data handling solutions for your business, as IoT will be bandwidth hungry and setting up fast connections will be vital.

Talk to your telco provider on how they can support your move and embrace the benefits the IoT delivers.

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