Twenty-one billion. That’s how many connected devices Gartner estimates will exist by 2020.
While smartphones and tablets have been connected to the Internet for years, new IoT-enabled devices are entering the market each and every day. Products as diverse as watches, thermostats, and even articles of clothing contain sensors that transmit data regarding the use of those items to interested parties, be it the consumer or the manufacturer.
This technology is transforming how businesses operate and how buyers engage with companies. And in a world where it’s increasingly important for organizations to put consumers at the forefront of their operations, IoT is proving to be mutually beneficial for both businesses and customers.
The business benefits of IoT-enabled devices
The single most alluring aspect of IoT-enabled devices is the connectivity they provide. The sensors installed in these products allow people, products, and businesses to be connected around the clock.
This quality is invaluable for organizations, particularly those in supply chain. But merely manufacturing IoT-enabled devices is not enough. Companies must be able to harness massive volumes of data and leverage that information to gain real-time customer insight.
While more than 70% of companies believe that IoT analytics capabilities are critical to their success, according to a recent Forrester Consulting research report, many businesses find this challenging. More and more, organizations must adopt innovative analytics solutions or partner with specialized analytics firms to ensure they’re getting the most out of their data.
Once organizations possess the ability to turn the data at their disposal into timely, relevant insight, the sky’s the limit. With real-time data collection and analysis capabilities in place, businesses can:
- Accelerate decision making: By becoming more data-driven, executives can make better, more informed business decisions – instead of relying on pure instinct. With greater visibility into buyer behavior and other patterns and trends, companies can react in the moment to meet constantly shifting customer demands and other critical business imperatives.
- Improve existing products and innovate new ones: Enhanced data access through IoT-enabled devices can help businesses to continually modify their products. It can also help companies to better predict what buyers may want next and enable them to innovate ahead of demand. These capabilities can drive business growth and potentially create new revenue streams for organizations.
- Achieve operational excellence: Business is all about efficiency. Products need to be designed, manufactured, and delivered in the quickest, most cost-effective manner possible. Through enhanced IoT data access and analysis, businesses can operate their supply chains more intelligently, streamlining and even automating processes to enhance product design, manufacturing, delivery, inventory management, and other important business areas.
Leading supply chain organizations are already investing billions of dollars in IoT technology and IoT analytics capabilities – and with good reason. Forrester says that firms being proactive in this area are two to three times more likely to boost revenue and market share.
Customers receive added value thanks to IoT
Businesses aren’t the only ones benefiting from the constant connectivity afforded by IoT. Buyers are also reaping the benefits. Specifically, they’re receiving improved products and services as well as superior customer experiences.
Today’s consumers are more demanding than ever. They crave quick, effortless, and personalized service. Data generated from IoT-enabled devices can help organizations deliver on all three counts.
Customers who use smart products benefit from:
- Greater personalization: IoT-enabled devices provide businesses with the data they need to tailor experiences according to an individual customer’s behavior. A smart thermostat, for example, “learns” how warm or cool a person likes his or her home, and it eventually programs itself based on the buyer’s preferences.
- Fewer customer service issues: Since IoT-enabled devices create around-the-clock connectivity between customers and manufacturers, companies are able to constantly monitor the condition of their products. Most importantly, they can detect – and potentially fix – issues early, before customers begin experiencing even bigger problems.
With IoT, everybody wins!
With insights gleaned from IoT and supporting analytics, companies can create a sizable competitive advantage. Organizations can use this data to improve their products and internal operations, enabling them to provide superior customer experiences.
Simply put, with IoT, everybody wins!
Learn more about what your organization can achieve with an award-winning, cloud-based, IoT-enabled platform. Read this press release for insight on the recent recognition that the SAP Connected Store received from IoT Evolution magazine and IoT Evolution World.