The US economy is currently one of the most productive in the world, according to Trading Economics statistics, outperforming the EU, UK, and developed eastern economies like Singapore and Hong Kong. However, the rate of productivity growth has slowed significantly in recent years, and remained low even as the country has emerged from the pandemic.
Boosting productivity is a problem that economists the world over are currently grappling with, and one of the best emerging technologies that could help is the internet of things (IoT). In this guide, we explore what IoT technology is, and how businesses can harness it to boost their productivity.
What is IoT?
IoT is based on the idea of connecting any electronically powered device to an internet network and allowing it to collect data via sensors.
Once connected, data can be received about the device, how it is operating, its surroundings, and how it is interacting with other connected devices. This data can be analyzed to improve the function of both device and the process it’s part of.
The device can also be controlled remotely. And if technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are used alongside sensors and networking, IoT devices can even work autonomously.
IoT can be rolled out to varying scales. LoRA and Sigfox network modules let users connect devices via radio over extremely large areas, all while using low amounts of power. This could be beneficial for utilities providers or vehicle network owners, for example. On the opposite end of the spectrum, an order fulfilment warehouse might introduce robots and place low-cost RFID chips into packages, allowing the entire operation to operate remotely based on a cloud network.
3 key ways IoT can improve business
IoT is a game-changing technology. Here are three of the most crucial ways you can use it to improve productivity within your business:
- Analytics – Whatever devices you connect to your IoT network, you will be able to collect data on it and analyze how it works. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to make sense of what works and doesn’t work in your business, boosting your decision-making and productivity in kind.
- Security – By investing in connected security tools, you can improve your workplace security procedures and systems, protecting your assets. What’s more, connecting your assets to the cloud (vehicles, tools, and so forth), you will be able to see where they are and who has used them, preventing theft.
- Safety – Automating part of your business means taking away human error. Of course, robotics aren’t going to be able to replace your entire workforce, but by focusing IoT solutions on the most dangerous aspects of your business, you can improve continuity and productivity through the reduction of accidents.
IoT technology is using in a fourth technological revolution. Invest in the right technologies, and you will gain not just improved productivity, but an edge over the competition.