The Internet of Things (IoT) has become an essential part of the modern workplace. By the end of this year, experts in the field believe that the use of interconnected devices in the workplace will have surpassed 13 billion.
Devices have been profoundly changing the way we work—our organizational processes and how we fulfill daily tasks. And with this change to how our business runs comes a variety of considerations you should keep in mind when thinking about your workplace.
What am I talking about when I say IoT?
The Internet of Things essentially is a network of interconnected devices on the internet. These devices collect and share data and may be used for a variety of services important to your business. These devices may be stand-alone or can be connected to other parts of your network. They might be tracked and managed remotely.
For a quick example, think about your house for a minute. How many devices have you added to your WiFi network over the past 10 years? Some common ones are thermostats, doorbells, security cameras, monitors, toasters, ovens, televisions, even light bulbs. The rapid expansion of smart devices has led to massive changes in how we run our lives—and our businesses.
Will added IoT change the way you run your organization?
IoT is affecting many industries. Are you in manufacturing, distribution, or healthcare? You or your team is definitely immersing in IoT. Here are some considerations to think about when planning for your organization’s future:
Easily Track your supply chain—no matter what industry you fall into, you are probably worried about some form of supply chain. Whether it’s medical supplies and resources, manufacturing raw materials, or even movement of intellectual property, IoT technology allows for all of your devices and products to stay connected within a single network. That means you can intuitively manage inventory and track progress on orders or outcomes in real time, with metrics that are meaningful to your organization and its bottom line.
Gain more access to data—in 2019 data is the new oil. If you decide to connect devices to your network, you likely will have more data than you’d ever know what to do with. What you might be able to do with this influx of data is to identify and track important key metrics you wouldn’t have thought possible to track before.
More ability to telecommute—sometimes it is hard to find the right worker that fits both your skill demands and your organizational culture. With devices, telecommuting and connecting the right talent from long distance becomes more possible.
You will need to manage your devices—to function properly, IoT devices will need to be updated regularly. The risks you assume when deciding on an IoT strategy can be enormous. Every device likely comes with their own vulnerabilities—some of which may open gaping holes into your entire network. Evaluating devices and their known vulnerabilities will be an important part of your IoT strategy. This is a huge concern for IT security this year (if you haven’t evaluated what you have on your network in a while, consider a network security assessment).
Whatever industry you find yourself in, there is great potential for revolutionizing how you and your teams work with IoT to aid productivity and effectiveness. The question is: have you evaluated your options and how to implement a stable IoT strategy going forward—one that maximizes effectiveness, while minimizing your organization-wide risks with added technologies?