The Internet of Things (IoT) is a giant network of connected things and according to some, there will be around 50 billion of them in the world by 2020… smartphones, washing machines, alarm systems, even furniture and office supplies… the list goes on.1
Essentially, anything that can be connected, will be connected.
In your home life that’s awesome. Coffee will be made when you wake up, the washing machine will get itself going during the night while the power’s off peak… you’ll be able to check on what the dogs have destroyed, monitor for intruders, get the house warmed up, turn on the sound system and create mood lighting… all from your office or the road.
There are no surprises in this. We’ve been talking about smart homes for some years now, but what does it mean for business?
Quite simply, as much as you want it to mean. IoT can improve your bottom line by reducing operating costs and increasing productivity. It can also provide opportunities to expand into new markets and develop new products.
IoT is huge for innovation, and as you’d expect, many people involved in product development are exploring ways to integrate it into their existing and new products.
Take, for example, Bigbelly which is reducing waste. Bigbelly manufactures street rubbish bins… only they’re much more than a regular street rubbish receptacle. These clever solar powered units automatically compact rubbish collected, increasing collection capacity by six to eight times. Then, when they’re 85% full, they send an email and text to alert the management company that the bin needs to be emptied. Management and operatives can view, on desktops and smartphones, the real time fill levels of all bins, eliminating unnecessary collections. The result? According to Bigbelly: they’re proven to reduce street bin collections by an average 86% (based on remote rural and heavy urban councils).2
Another IoT innovation is contributing to healthier workplaces.
We all know that a combination of sitting and standing while at work is great for your BMI, can boost productivity and help cognitive functioning. But how long standing is long enough and how do we remember when to sit… stand… sit across the day.
Researchers at Texas A&M School of Public Health have tested the use of a computer prompt to remind people to stand at various times throughout the day. Nothing exciting in that, except now they’re using software connected to desks themselves to study the factors and behavioural prompts that affect the behaviour of about 1,000 people in three offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.3
“We’re trying to increase and sustain the usage of stand-capable workstations by making it as easy as possible,” said graduate student, Parag Sharma. “A notification will pop up on the screen when it’s time to change the desk position, and with just a click of the mouse, the desk will raise or lower itself.”
A smart desk is coming to you soon…
How can you use IoT to Boost Productivity and Expand Your Business?
As more and more devices become interconnected, the opportunities to capture and analyse data dramatically expand, providing opportunities to tailor your recommendations, develop new products and services and finesse your business processes.
In terms of employees, IoT gives you massive flexibility to engage contractors with the expertise you need from anywhere in the world. Once they’re onboarded, you can give them secure access to your office devices and allow them to work remotely. As well as accessing talent you can’t find locally, this could enable you to engage lower cost workers, expand your hours into different time zones and create a physical presence in other cities, states and countries.
But what about you… well the same applies. Thanks to IoT, now you can take yourself on holiday and still be totally in control of the office – if that’s what you want to do. Holidaying in Fiji?… now you can slip into the office and manage productivity, pool side!
Talk to Ayers
In world of rapidly evolving technology, your company needs to be constantly open to new ideas and exploring new opportunities. At Ayers, we’ve been helping businesses like yours grow for over 20 years. We take care of the day to day administration so you can invest resources into moving forward. Talk to an Ayers consultant today.