The aim of IoT
This might seem tech-heavy and complex, but the IoT is expected to fundamentally do four things:
- Improve quality of life for you or your customers
- Allow for loyalty building through data analysis and new ways of communicating
- Change businesses models
- Benefit the business ecosystem by improving connectivity
These changes necessitate a change in the business mindset. IoT is where solutions like cloud were a few years ago – it isn’t a matter of if, but when businesses need to adapt and take advantage.
Making a difference in healthcare
For Tanya, the IoT is helping the healthcare sector overcome challenges for clinicians and patients, improving their quality of life significantly. She pointed to a number of significant examples in the course of her presentation, including healthcare allowing dementia patients to manage their medications and navigate their homes, as well as providing immediate locations for equipment in emergency rooms.
This connectivity is being implemented in many operations across the country in a number of ways: Fridges can talk to monitors, for example, ensuring medications are served at the correct temperature and warnings are sounded if temperatures rise above a certain level, improving patient care and limiting opportunities for litigation to arise.
Conflict in its essence, is inefficient. But collaboration delivers good business outcomes
A new retail experience
In the retail space, IoT offers both challenges and opportunities for smaller retailers. While their larger competitors are able to invest in the infrastructure to gather more customer data, these technologies enable daily stocktakes, more knowledge of goods and build on the anecdotal knowledge they have on their customers.
“Small retailers have generally relied on their ability to know their customers better than big chains, but I think these days they’re going to be challenged by this,” said Gareth at the Telstra Vantage event.
“They’re going to need to collect information from technology that allows them to play in the same ballpark with the chains who do this by systematic methods.
“If you build an app for your customers, that can collect all sorts of information about your customers’ movements, habits, buying preferences, how they interact with your app, that will help you know them better. From the point of view of running your business more efficiently, you can use IoT to manage your stock really well.
“So I think IoT can offer smaller retailers an opportunity to know their customers better, but also manage their asserts more efficiently.”
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Collaboration in the supply chain
Another area IoT is making a significant difference is by making the supply chain connected, monitored, measured and managed. Using technologies like M2M, telemetrics and GPS tracking, transparency can be increased, which enables better decision making and opportunities to optimise operations.
But this requires collaboration between multiple operations, says Jude, especially as eCommerce and changing customer expectations increase competition in the space.
“Well it’s been proven, I think, over the last 30 years, that collaboration is a better model than conflict in terms of running a business,” he says.
“Conflict in its essence, is inefficient. But collaboration delivers good business outcomes.
“It’s effectively making two and two equal five instead of four when you put a supply chain together with a retailer. That’s what the likes of Walmart have been doing for many years.”
Knowledge equals success
At the end of the day, increasing how much you know about your operations empowers better results – whether it’s for a customer, a patient or a client. The connectivity and knowledge that IoT can deliver when combined with technology solutions that makes sense of these connections has the power to change business across the country.
Whether it’s smarter packaging, the connected medicine fridge or connected paper (yes it’s a thing), the world’s going to get more connected. Smart businesses will make this connectivity work to their advantage.