What could the Internet of Things mean for your business?

Whenever people talk about what the future holds for the tech sector and businesses’ IT departments, a few technologies emerge again and again. Cloud computing is always high on the list of priorities, while increased mobility and social connectivity are also in professionals’ thoughts.

But one factor that all companies will have to think about is how they make use of growing amounts of data – and increasingly, this is set to originate from non-traditional sources that are connected to the internet. These could be anything from smart energy meters to fitness monitors to smart fridges – but what they have in common is they’ll offer new ways for firms to understand their customers and improve their operations.

This wealth of information is known as the Internet of Things and it’s set to be big business. Earlier this year, for instance, David Cameron announced the UK government is to invest £45 million into research for this area, to develop new technologies to take advantage of the opportunity, while by 2020, Gartner estimates there will be nearly 26 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things.

Meanwhile, a recent report by Pew Research found that 83 per cent of technology experts expect the developments to have “widespread and beneficial effects on the everyday lives of the public” by 2025.

So what will this mean for your business? At its heart, the Internet of Things will be able to give companies much better insight into their operations – allowing them to offer their customers a much more personal service and help them improve their decision-making.

Chief scientist at Salesforce J P Rangaswami explained in the Pew research: “The quality of real-time information that becomes available will take the guesswork out of much of capacity planning and decision-making.”

But with so much information waiting to be used, it’s going to be important that firms have the systems in place to cope with the mountain of data. So fast solutions that can not only gather data, but ensure it’s analysed effectively and placed in the hands of the right people should be a key priority when it comes to overhauling a business’ systems.

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