A merging buzzword, the internet of thins (IoT), is shaping the way the modern business landscape operates. As the internet is taking over almost all areas of our lives the business world must also integrate into that sphere.
If your company is tech savvy with state of the art data centres and biometric entry points then perhaps this article isn’t for you. However, if you’re still using MS excel spreadsheets and have yet to upgrade from Windows XP, then in this article you’ll learn about the tight rope you’re walking. Being naïve to the digital frontiers in business can leave you unprepared to face the competition.
Top tops on how to make the shift to IoT
The number one question that most businesses are asking, and they should be if they aren’t, is how to digitally modernize their operations. Here are a few tips to point you in the right direction:
Cloud technology: to avoid data loss due to inefficient backup systems using the cloud to store data is a no-brainer. You must integrate as many devices into one online system as possible. A cloud based system is a perfect way to achieve that. It allows for remote access of any device or node of a system. The cloud and IoT are actually inseparable.
As companies begin switching over to the cloud the productivity levels can increase by up to 47%. You’ll even see an 82% increase in the execution speed of processes. This positively impacts the bottom line as more is achieved in a shorter time period.
Get rid of dated technology: the IoT is a perfect opportunity to get rid of dated technology that you might have been using for over a decade. The spring cleaning ensures you’re taking advantage of the benefits of modern equipment. You cannot expect your employees to compete within your industry if they are using technology that’s handicapping them.
During the installation of new equipment it’s important to integrate one piece of kit with the system as a whole. A basic example: let’s say you’re installing a printer in the office, then you should setup online access so that everyone in your company can potentially have access to it.
Tackle security issues: during the switch to the IoT take security seriously. In the future as a bigger portion of a business is moved online the online security risks are even greater. Naturally, the biggest concern will be the security of the important business related data. This includes customer account data, credit cards and secrets of the trade.
The new generation embraces technology
As an increasing number of people are becoming raised on the culture of the internet the appreciation for technology is rising. Social media and digital interfaces will be not only practical but expected by future generations. Therefore, you need to present your business in a way that your customer can appreciate and respect.
Once you’ve 100% made the switch to the IoT don’t be shy about touting it. Letting others know how digitally modern you are is a big attraction regardless of what industry you’re operating in. For example, 66% of small business would fail without wireless technology. This shows that digital modernization is not only attractive but also practical.
Shoppers rely on the internet
An interesting statistic is that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying. This makes sense because the wealth of information about any given product is vast. For any single product there are countless stores offering their own price, and doing a quick search allows you to find the best price.
Furthermore, because of affiliate marketing the number of review sites across all industries is exploding. Some of these reviews sites are in it for the quick buck and are created poorly. However, some contain in-depth reviews based on hands-on experience of the product in question. Buyers flock to these types of reviews before making a purchase.
You need to be visible in your industry online so that you do not give up market share without a fight. However, not everyone that researches a product buys online. That’s because they believe returning a product that’s bought online will be more complicated.
Connection with customers
One of the most important aspects of switching to the IoT is being able to connect with your customer in a more intimate way than ever before. As an example, Amazon is a pioneer and master of this. Once you begin the shopping the experience Amazon figures out what you might be interested in buying from the browsing history. The products you’re interested in are actually offered very quickly.
Then once a sale is made further products are suggested that compliment what you have already bought. The advanced algorithm understands what you’re after and makes the shopping experience significantly smoother.
Connecting with customers can be achieved via the many channels of communication. Social media, email and video are great for expressing what you’re business is about. There is also opportunity for your customers to share opinions. If you’re smart you’ll listen to what feedback is given. You can even outsource the communication work to freelancers.
Recently EA (Electronic Arts) decided to tune out the anger of gaming fans because of the way micro transactions where integrated into their latest blockbuster game: Star Wars Battlefront 2. After EA posted a comment on Reddit fans down voted it at a record breaking number. The concerns were ignored until it was too late and once the game released the sales numbers were drastically low – EA lost billions in stock value.
The big takeaway here is that switching over to the IoT is not a decision but a necessity to be relevant. An increasing number of customers will expect you to be online, if you aren’t it’s going to be a strike against the perception of your company.
Up to 85% of businesses are using a multi-cloud strategy, which means your main competitors might have already made the move. Not doing so yourself is essentially giving up a big edge. If you’re not technically savvy yourself then outsource help to a professional. Whatever you do don’t remain still, move with the times or they will leave you behind.