Internet of Things
Internet of Things, a world where everything talks and reports back as instructed. Fridges that report what is in it and what is needed from the shops. Shelves in stores that reorder as required at predetermined times. Embedded sensors that measure and report. This will change business and business models- it will improve efficiency and reduce costs.
It will open up a massive security issue and bring about problems we can hardly imagine – Thats progress !
If everybody has a smart phone, how will we, as developers, turn this to the advantage of our Clients ? How do we get people to browse the net on their mobile or thin client and then buy something or interact ? When will the Merry Go Round stop ? NEVER – good web partners scour the smart innovators and apply the science as it evolves.
A website is not just for Christmas, it is for life and it has to be fed and watered, walked and groomed. Now, it has to be aware of all the other technological advances that might need to be connected via a website.
IoT – How will the internet of things affect your business?
Without being ageist your attitude to the internet of things is probably determined by your age as it affects your perspective. The next generation of shoppers is totally switched on to the internet, for communications, socialising, shopping, entertainment, education, research and support. The current generation of shoppers are using many of the features, but finding some options a bit of a challenge, whilst the silver surfer is just using what they have to use in order to get through, plus the odd item that they learn from a young friend. All three categories are learning more and getting ever more involved with the IoT, so this is the future for individuals.
How does that affect your business or profession ? This is the biggest question you can pose to yourself and it needs to be addressed as a core element in any business plan. To succeed in business will involve change that include 3 main things:
1. Education – you need to train staff to work with the IOT or train them on how to get certain work outsourced, such as managing your online advertising, your digital marketing, managing your Social Media, managing your web presence, managing your cloud based services from data storage to hosting to banking and book-keeping.
2. Technology – there will be an ongoing investment needed to stay abreast of technology as it evolves, speeds up and becomes more portable. You will need to have the current hardware, laptops, smartphones etc and have all your hardware from printers to security to heating or production connected to the internet and talking to each other.The IOT means that we apply an IP address to anything and it feeds back data, from heart monitors to cows to printers or cars. Connectivity is creating high speed data capture and allows us the chance to react fast. Separate to the deployment of the tools, you will need a person to manage the security for your new systems and for the data that you gather, as well as ensuring suitable backups and data storage. Data can be gathered from most modern tools, but integrating these tools or connecting the data dots may need APIs or software that collates multiple data sources and combines or compares in order to educate you on how your business is doing.You will want your stock management system to talk to your accounting system and your sales channels such as your own eCommerce platform or Amazon or ebay and to Google as well as to your booking engine or social media channels.It all sounds like a whole new world and it is.
3. Attitude – Any business that does not embrace the IOT will dwindle away in to obscurity. However this entails the installation of the right type of sensors, networks and applications to monitor manage and measure data. In turn, this requires a level of technical know-how to implement, so this job will need to be outsourced for most SMEs. This new world is one that crept up on so many business owners or C suite managers and is gaining pace at a speed we have never seen. The decision makers are the people least embedded in the whole IOT culture, but these are the guys who have to write a plan and get the right people on board to implement it. As a business owner or manager that decision maker is you, so surround yourself with people who know more about this new world than you, then task that team to implement an agreed strategy, monitor it, measure the results and continually tweak the plan to generate more business.
Get ready for the next big thing which is the dramatic rise in mobile web, which is already bigger than you know, but which will demand that you deliver your message in an amended format. Consumers, customers, employees all have the internet in their pocket, so they expect to use this to browse or buy, communicate or collaborate, in real time with instant access, instant gratification and instant results. Dylan still has it so right when he sings “The times they are a changin'”.
IoT Definition: “The Internet of Things, the network of uniquely identifiable objects embedded with electronics, sensors, software, connected to exchange data with other connected devices for the manufacturers/managers.”
Conclusion: If you read this article, a small number of you will say “This is all obvious and we are on top it already”, but many will say “how are we to stay on top of all this change and how much will it cost”. For all of us, if we embrace the change we can deliver great results. Imagine a situation where your whole team has access to instant information/results or instant access to the “Team” knowledge Bank or database”. If we meet with a client about developing a web solution for their business and get asked a tough technical question, we can get the answer from our “Team Knowledge Bank”. The application of the combined team knowledge will allow you react quicker, deliver quicker and grow quicker. BUT you need to get the attitude right and then the education and technology, but first get the mind set right and get the right people on the bus. “The times they are a changin'”.