I have had the incredible pleasure of being in the technical arena for a career spanning 25 years. I have seen many innovations morph from ‘nerd’ only to ‘pop culture staples’. As with all I have seen, the trajectories of these technologies were only limited by adoption. Herding is a powerful thing. But, so is fear.
I’ll save us a few lines in this installment, assuming you can recall your own experience with being introduced to web pages and mobile technologies. This installment is focusing on the next undeniable technology, patiently waiting for you to drop your fear, IoT (Internet of Things).
You may be familiar with your Fitbit, or even have your fridge text that you need to buy milk. You may also marvel in these conveniences or see them as an affectation that has little “real-world” use. I am not talking about that IoT, I’m talking about IoT for business. I’m talking about game-changing IoT.
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What, you need examples? Ok. You’re a shipping company in Cleveland, Ohio. You could use IoT appliances to communicate on engine performance (truck, ship, or whatever), and report and schedule maintenance before failure. You’re an organic greenhouse farmer in Raleigh, North Carolina, you could use IoT to report CO2 levels in your greenhouse, pH in the water, proper watering, and temperature. Need more? Ok. You’re an office manager at Anywhere Company, you could use IoT to adjust HVAC, lights, security, access and real-time attendance saving thousands in energy and creating a more secure and efficient office.
I could go on and on, but that is not the point. The point of this article is to challenge you to think about where you were in the adoption curve for all the technologies that are now a part of your “everyday”.
As with many new technologies, the largest obstacle it faces regarding mainstream use is ignorance to the best applications and misinformation. But IoT is taking a different path. IoT is breaking barriers with only a handful of tireless champions – think Amazon. All markets in business are incredibly competitive, and in this environment, profits are realized through cutting costs and increasing efficiencies. Brick and mortar retail has crumbled at the feet of online buying. That fulfillment is supported by advanced robotics and IoT automations. The costs for these automations are going down and the ROI is a stone’s throw from the investment.
Listen, "not being technologically-inclined” or “we’ve always done it this way” is not going to cut it much longer. The innovators are coming, they see the potential in IoT, and they aren’t going to wait.
This is by no means a scare tactic on my part. Think of it more as a reality check…with a friendly dose of encouragement to start considering the ROI of IOT (now).