Tips for IoT Success for Your Business

Helping Your Business Make the Digital Transformation

You may have heard the words “digital transformation” and how the use of smart technology or the Internet of Things (IoT), is changing the way people do business.  Consider this statistic:  “Bain predicts the combined markets of the Internet of Things (IoT) will grow to about $520B in 2021, more than double the $235B spent in 2017.”  B2B buyers are no longer willing to spend their time going back and forth with calls or emails with a sales person, wait days for a quote, or deal with slow or outdated websites.  In the “Age of Amazon,” Today’s consumers demand speedy and convenient, self-service buying experiences. Industries such as Manufacturing and Wholesale, as well as tradesmen and Contractors, know that they must adapt in order to survive.

In fact, according to Forbes.com, “market analysts predict the number of connected devices in the manufacturing industry will double between 2017 and 2020.”

Success in the digital transformation, involves not only investing in smart technology but also a change in company culture, to utilize IoT technology to the fullest and thrive in the new digital age.

Four essential tips for success with IoT:

  1. Security must be a top priority:   IoT devices gather real-time data that includes everything from assembly-line operations to personal medical information or financial information. That data must be planned for and protected. If hackers are able to steal your data, it could cost you your business. The process of evaluating and updating your security measures must constantly evolve to match the constantly evolving threat, from hackers and cyber criminals.
  2. Share your data with people who need it: Smart devices and The IoT allows for instant gathering and sharing of real-time data, not only from assembly lines, but also supply chains, distribution networks and even customers in the field. It’s important to routinely ask, who else may be able to benefit from the data that you’re gathering.  Sharing your data can help eliminate inefficiencies and help your business operate with maximum productivity. Your policies should clearly reflect, when and with whom data will be shared and which data needs to remain private and protected.
  3. Sharing of Data should be cyclical not linear: Not only should you share your data with those who need it but also, your business policies and procedures should be changed to ensure that data continues to flow in a cyclical rather than a linear direction.  If data flows in a cyclical direction, you are quickly receiving accurate feedback on how your products really work. A cyclical flow of data can change how things are designed, manufactured and serviced, and allows for predictive maintenance as opposed to more costly maintenance after a loss occurs.
  4.  Rethink your products and their uses: IoT allows for product design and refinement to become a continuous process, which increases the chance that customers will be happy with what you’re producing or distributing. The IoT merges the physical and digital. There is still a physical product being produced but its value increases because it can now link to the internet, and report automatically on its status.  The IoT makes things easier to upgrade, and  makes products more valuable because of the digital value added and the circular feedback flow.

To fully embrace the digital transformation and the IoT, your business needs to invest in the technology but also embrace a culture change to take a digital-first mindset. Adopting the mantra that technology and the IoT has the potential to increase customer satisfaction, make production more efficient, prevent costly maintenance and generate new revenue streams, will put your business on a path to success in the digital transformation.

The business insurance experts at McSweeney & Ricci have helped Manufacturers, Wholesalers and Contractors mitigate and recover from risk for over fifty years. Our team can help design an insurance program to safeguard you, your business and your employees. Working with McSweeney & Ricci ensures your business receives customized coverage suited to your unique situation and the highest level of protection possible.

Sources:  Industry week.com “Four Essential Truths to IoT Success” W.David Stephensen Jan 04, 2019
Manufacturers Guide to Digital B2B Commerce Dec. 14
Forbes.com “Five IoT Predictions for 2019” by Daniel Newman, Contributor. July 31, 2018
Forbes.com “IoT Market Predicted to Double by 2021, reaching $520B. by Louis Columbus, Contributor. Aug. 16. 2018

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