Why The IoT Will Take Over Every Industry
It’s a big mistake to think that the Internet of Things will only remain relevant with tech industry movers and shakers and early adopters. One glance at the world around you, and you’ll quickly realize that the IoT is well on its way to becoming an everyday aspect of even the most low-tech workplaces.
The IoT is removing mundane busywork from countless blue-collar jobs, enabling businesses, cities, and entire industries to increase services while cutting demands for labor, training, resources, and equipment. In fact, the American Society for Quality surveyed a number of manufacturing companies that have embraced the IoT and uncovered some staggering numbers: Manufacturing efficiency increased by 82 percent, approximately half of the users saw fewer defects, and customer satisfaction swelled by 45 percent.
There’s no denying the fact that IoT applications are effective, but if you aren’t aware of just how widespread they are, you’re probably not prepared to keep up with the many sweeping changes on the horizon.
What’s yet to come extends into the realm of what was once unthinkable: restaurant coolers that automatically place orders when they detect low stock and buildings that are wired to self-monitor their needs so custodians can place their focus elsewhere.
IoT automation is shaping up to be the future of any and all industries that currently revolve around manual-based labor, especially when it comes to monitoring and assessment.
The Low-Tech IoT in Action
Not long ago, mechanics had to look under the hood of a car to see what needed fixing. Now, all they need is a computer that automatically conducts the diagnostics. Similarly, industries such as home appliance repair, HVAC maintenance, and the following three are positioned to lose their reliance on human-based analysis because of IoT solutions:
- Parking: The “dumb” devices we used to know as parking meters have smartened up. Instead of individual meters merely accepting change and outputting a simple timer, parking kiosks can now process credit card transactions, sense when spaces are available, and accept remote payments to extend time. Drivers can even interact with these systems remotely to find open spots. This cuts down on time, traffic, fuel consumption, and, most importantly, frustration.The impact here is bigger than you might guess. A study showed that drivers searching for parking rack up more than 950,000 miles every year in just one district in Los Angeles. The need for parking efficiency is obvious, and only the IoT can deliver such key solutions.
- Metering: Self-monitoring “smart” meters in utility markets means millions in savings because of fewer mistakes and less maintenance. But that’s just the beginning; they also allow for optimization. The possibility for high granularity — reports can be collected as often as every 30 minutes — will help utility companies anticipate demand and respond accordingly.
- Farming and agriculture: Even though it’s one of the oldest and least technical industries out there, not even farming is immune to IoT development. Farmers are currently using sensors to help increase crop yields, monitor weather patterns, and utilize their human resources with more accuracy. Believe it or not, they’re also tracking herd locations and monitoring hormone levels in livestock to determine ideal calving and milk production schedules. Some of the biggest names in farming and agriculture are already joining the IoT revolution: John Deere wants to transform the tractor into a data control center, and Monsanto is analyzing weather with the help of Google alumni.The data collected through IoT solutions can also enable food producers to offer the label transparency that today’s consumers increasingly demand.
Once again, innumerable man-hours and resources are saved in low-tech industries that embrace IoT applications — and, as a result, profits soar.
In the Future, Everything Is IoT-Oriented
The IoT will continue to develop fruitful collaborations between the high- and low-technology worlds — and anyone who isn’t prepared will be left behind. “Adapt or die,” the old adage, applies here as much as anywhere.
What we’re going to see in the coming years will be unprecedented, but not unpredictable. Processes and operations that weren’t even conceivable a few years ago are going to come to life, take over, and replace low-tech methods with unmatched efficiency.
The coming convergence of high- and low-tech approaches is certain to happen in very disruptive and unpredictable ways. Soon enough, anything that isn’t connected will be as good as dead. The term “high-tech” itself could cease to exist as we watch the most unexpected industries begin to integrate labor-saving tech connectivity to multiply their efficiency.
Your choice is simple: Get ready for the IoT to come to your business, or get ready to go out of business.
By John Horn
John is the CEO of Ingenu, which he joined after serving as president of RacoWireless, a leading provider of machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity solutions. Before joining RacoWireless, Horn was a leader at T-Mobile for more than nine years while he focused specifically on developing the company’s M2M program and go-to-market strategy.