To maximize IoT connectivity, you need to carefully study your business model and analyze how to best meet the expectations of your customers.
The internet of things, or IoT, refers to any device that can connect to the internet and transfer collected data to other internet-connected devices. Some equipment is also capable of analyzing data to trigger specific actions, such as how banking transactions would be suspended when certain irregularities or activities are detected.
IoT connectivity can be applied to just about any industry representing government services and private enterprises. However, due to the vastness of connectivity involved across various devices and technologies, it may take a while before every single organization completes their IoT projects.
As you plan your IoT strategy, you need to carefully study your business model and analyze how to best meet the expectations of the customers you serve. The following five features should be incorporated into your IoT blueprint.
1. Responsiveness to customer needs
As a business, your end goal is to maintain customer satisfaction with your products or services. To achieve this, you could leverage your IoT system to cater to customers' needs.
If you're in the business of ecommerce, giving your customers a hassle-free online shopping experience should be your priority. That might include offering several payment and shipping options, as well as 24/7 customer support, whether shoppers are trying to complete a purchase using a browser or an app on their mobile device.
Your IoT strategy should offer new, innovative solutions for all sorts of challenges that customers normally experience. Think of Google and Amazon competing for the growing market in the smart home space. Your IoT vision should, therefore, be more about improving people's lives and less about making a profit.
2. Customer privacy and data security
According to forecasts, the number of IoT devices may reach about 20 billion by 2020. It comes as no surprise then that people feel apprehensive knowing that their personal information or records can be accessed by any device that's part of the IoT network.
There's an even bigger fear that their data may be misused via security breaches that have victimized even some of the biggest technology companies around.
That being said, your IoT infrastructure should be designed with ultra-high security measures that deter scrupulous individuals or organizations from hacking into your network. Investing in top-of-the-line security tools and services should a priority.
3. Good data management
All the big data stored in IoT devices is useless if it's not properly processed and analyzed for specific purposes. Part of your IoT solution should include a specialized mechanism for analytics to help you gain valuable insights from the data you collect.
When you have a clear understanding of how your data affects your overall business model, you can use it to create better policies, systems or processes for your organization.
4. Support for technological and other industry shifts
Until now, a robust IoT system has remained an elusive goal for many businesses partly because available technologies are still evolving.
As you develop your IoT strategy, leave room for any possible shifts that could happen both in the short and long term. Your IoT framework should be flexible enough to accommodate future changes without necessitating a complete overhaul of design or function, as that would disrupt your operations and be costly for your business.
Your IoT design should also support scalability, especially with the projected increase in the number of connected devices in the coming years. If your IoT system can't support all available devices, you could encounter issues related to customer service or network security.
5. Strong organizational leadership
You need someone with an overall knowledge of the various areas of your organization to lead your IoT strategy. This is crucial since IoT encompasses not just IT but also product development, customer service, sales and marketing, HR, and more. A company cannot be IoT driven while some of its employees are fearful of the business transformation your company is pushing for.
Your IoT designated leader should be able to educate, influence, and inspire employees, customers, and other partners in business about the multifarious aspects of IoT, including cloud storage, sensor networks, data analytics, and control systems, among others, which could pose technical and cultural challenges for the entire organization.
The future is geared toward IoT connectivity, and you can't afford to be left behind. While it's never too early or too late to create your IoT plan, you should be proactive in developing a mindset of being IoT ready, whether your goal is to streamline your business processes, secure your company's competitive advantage, or improve your customers' overall experience.