Monday, 7 August 2017

IoT for SME (2/5) – Custom Applications


There are revolutions that are loud and clear, like the Industrial Revolution. And then there are revolutions that are quiet yet disruptive like the invention of Internet. During the initial days, no one knew what it could be used for or even how to make use of it. One such recent revolution is IoT. Although people are aware that Machine intelligence and its ability to communicate in a “Smart” way has increased, often end users are unaware of the involvement of IoT. And that’s the beauty of the system as the business leaders can take advantage of this quiet time before it becomes one of the buying decision.

The research from Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) shows that nearly 100% of the business leaders expect their business to be using IoT in one form or another by the end of 2016. With that interesting perception, I welcome you to the second post on the IoT for SME series. If you are tuning into this post for the first time, I suggest you look at the first post here, where we have discussed about the monetary implications of using IoT for SME and how they can tackle this situation.  Alright let’s dive into today’s topic, custom applications using IoT for SME.

Reaching out to Customers:

SMEs can use IoT in understanding the behaviours of the customer, in terms of buying activities, touch points during and after sales cycle. For example, sensors can report exactly where, when and how a product is sold, providing valuable inputs in the marketing and sales process both online or offline.  The process of collecting this real-time data can be less costly, fast and more accurate with use of IoT.

Another instance could be monitoring and usage of connected components or parts. Using this data SMEs can ensure they have the necessary products are available for replacement.

For example, if the printer could communicate about the low toner to the manufacturers they could send out the toner on time by cutting down the time delay and increasing the sales revenue.

Enhancing workflows

On the other hand, SME can also benefit from IoT in terms of product engineering and workflow enhancement.  Monitoring machine conditions, settings and usage can result in fine tuning the existing workflow and ensuring the production is done efficiently.  It will significantly improve the quality of products.

Summary


While it is not so straight forward when it comes to implementing IoT for SME, it is worthwhile to consider this option to see how best we can utilize the technology and reap the benefits sensors, machine learning and internet. At this point it is difficult to use off the shelf products or packaged software for enabling IoT to use SME, unless the whole solution suit the requirement of the SME business. Therefore, it is safe to say, custom applications would be able to fill this gap in creating applications that suit the SME needs while also harvesting the benefits of IoT.



   Srivatsan Aravamudan

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   Business Analyst - Snr Software Consultant.

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