We sat down with Jesse Curry, Director of Development Services at Haneke Design, to hash out what IoT, or Internet of Things, could mean for YOU as a small and medium-sized business owner.
1. What do small businesses need to know about IoT?
“IoT is about allowing things to communicate directly or indirectly with one another; in practice, this allows devices with sensors to make their data available to others and allows the remote control of devices. The typical business owner will be able to gain a tighter control of costs within their organization and save time and money by automating many common tasks.
Consumers have already seen large savings in heating and cooling costs from connected thermostats; business owners will see the same along with automatic reordering of consumables (toner, paper towels, coffee, etc.). Downtime due to unexpected maintenance will be greatly reduced, as equipment will be able to diagnose and report impending failures.”
2. How will it affect the typical business owner?
“The typical business owner will be able to operate proactively rather than reactively. The strength of Internet of Things devices does not come from the devices themselves, but from the new interactions that the devices will allow. Whether surfacing previously unknown information or automating previously manual processes, IoT will revolutionize the business world.”
3. Can you give some examples of how IoT is making a difference, big and small, in various companies/industries?
“As with most new technology the costs for IoT enablement are rapidly decreasing, bringing the technology to more and more devices.
For now, the most interesting applications are still taking place on the high-end, but that will change in the near future. My favorite example is the connected jet engine. Individual components of the jet engine communicate their state in real time to onboard computers allowing early diagnosis of potential issues. The IoT systems can be exploited for predictive analysis of fuel efficiency, too.
When transatlantic flights can cost upwards of $50,000, any reduction in downtime and savings of fuel efficiency can make the difference between running a profitable business and losing money.”
4. What do SMBs need to know about safety and security?
“Internet of Things technology is really just computing technology. While businesses do have some control over IoT devices, they should treat them as untrusted devices on company networks, much in the same way that personal iPhones are treated.”
5. Any tips for keeping IoT devices secure?
“Organizations with sensitive data should make an effort to segregate IoT devices on their network, and firmware updates should be regularly performed.”
Over the next year we are sure to see a proliferation of IoT projects and devices. Just as fast as the shift from desktop to mobile went from “coming soon” to “we now live in a mobile-first world,” the anticipation is increasing and the promise is high. Are you prepared to take advantage of all that IoT has to offer? Find out more here.