IoT is changing how companies do business, and leaders use it to drive successful digital transformations. Despite being a critical element in digital transformation, IoT is often overlooked when businesses are laying out their strategies for digital innovation.
To succeed in an increasingly connected world, you need to harness the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) for digital transformation. Digital transformation is about more than just technology. It's about aligning your technology strategy with your business strategy to drive value across your organisation.
The primary focus of many companies is usually on the front-end elements of their digital presence, like websites and mobile apps. While these are important, they represent only one side of the picture. To impact your customers and drive revenue, you need to create an end-to-end ecosystem where all components work together seamlessly to deliver a great customer experience.
So, how does a company achieve this technological transformation? And how does the Internet of Things (IoT) help? In this article, you will learn how IoT-connected devices are the transformational elements your business needs to improve workflows, reduce costs, and give your customers more efficient and personalised service.
The term digital transformation can mean many different things to many different people. But it all boils down to the same idea: in an increasingly digital world, companies that want to survive must have the ability to adapt quickly. They must continually evaluate their products, services, and processes as technology evolves around them; they must find where they can work smarter and faster through technology; and they must have a plan for incorporating new technologies into their business models as they arise.
Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all business areas, resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and deliver value to customers. It's also a cultural change that requires organisations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure.
Digital transformation can be broken into three categories: customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX), and operational excellence (OPEX). Each has its role in the trinity of digital transformation.
The implementation of transformative digital technology may include devices connected through IoT, algorithmic business thinking, Big Data mining, machine learning, artificial intelligence programming, biometrics, virtual reality, augmented reality, and more, depending on your business needs and strategy.
Digital transformation brings together people, data, and processes to create value for customers and employees and more effectively compete in an ever-changing digital economy. Innovative digital IoT technologies upgrade existing systems or create new methods for operating processes, company culture, and customer experiences. A company that undergoes this transformation has a technology makeover.
In almost every business sector, operating an organisation using an outdated legacy method – which is paperwork intensive – does not suffice anymore. Technological innovation changes a business in ways that enhance employees' productivity and improve the customer experience to meet or exceed the market requirements.
IoT is the next frontier for digital innovation. Think of the potential: sensors in your manufacturing plant can monitor the environment and send alerts if they detect a problem, or even adjust automatically to improve efficiency. In your office, digital signage can show the weather, detect approaching visitors, and cue up personalised content for them.
The first wave of IoT applications focused on connecting devices — from security cameras to smart appliances — that had never been connected before. The second wave will connect everything, including everything inside your company. As it does, it will bring more opportunities for you to use IoT technologies to save time, money and lives.
Similar to how the Internet made communication possible for billions of people, IoT applications make data communication with devices available to every business of any size. The differences are not the devices, sensor(s), or the connections as much as the scale of the deployment.
The connected device network expands using the same types of Internet protocols for standardised global communications. The usefulness comes with integrating real-time data from deployed hardware systems such as cameras feeding images back to IoT applications that process visual imagery for analysis. And businesses of all sizes can benefit from technological innovation for their products, workflows, services, and supply chain management.
A cross-reference may be an RFID tag on something automatically scanned when the item leaves a location. Using a system like this lets you know where each pallet of inventory items is in the warehouse and where it is going if it leaves.
The trackable benefits of digital transformation include increased efficiency, cost reduction, and improved customer service. Companies that manage these transformational processes exceptionally well will set the standards for others to follow. The old mail-order catalogue fulfilment style that asked customers to "please allow 3 to 4 weeks for your order to arrive" has now changed to offering same-day delivery by major online retailers.
Moreover, today's business marketplace is an extremely competitive, digital world that demands every company rise to the occasion to implement the infrastructure necessary to meet customers' needs. There will continue to be the need for increased implementation of technology and a constant re-evaluation of a company's position in a specific marketplace.
The network effect describes the power of interconnection. IoT applications gain value through the processing of many data feeds in real-time. At the furthest reach of the network, there are the end data points. These devices report data back to the centralised servers for data processing with artificial intelligence programming that can analyse massive amounts of data inputs in real-time.
The more sensors a system monitors as data feeds, the easier it is to uncover patterns and create useful insights for a company's management. For example, by having all the needed sensors in every commercial vehicle of a company's fleet, the system might do the following:
In short, exploring the possibilities of using IoT applications as part of the solution for upgrading a company's operations allows the emerging expansion of the connectivity of every device. Let the need for installing these devices be the driver of success in digital transformation.
The Internet of Things is here and now. It is a force driving digital innovation in every industry, from healthcare to manufacturing, from smart home appliances to connected cars, telemedicine devices, and beyond.
The question for businesses is no longer whether or not to connect devices but how to create a solid strategy for doing so. IoT has the potential to transform organisations and help them gain a competitive edge, but it only does so if a company deploys it the right way.
A company that does not have a strong digital transformation strategy that embraces this device-connectivity trend will fall behind its competitors. IoT applications help companies streamline their activities for full efficiency.
Many companies discover a strong positive impact on the bottom line through a digital transformation that implements smart, connected devices as real-time information sources. This valuable real-time data improves decision-making in every facet of their operations.
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