Friday, May 9, 2014

The Internet of Things and what it means for business.

In one of last week's posts SkyPlanner, South Florida's best choice for Salesforce consulting and customization, gave you a broad definition and history of the Internet of Things (IoT). This week we're going to go a little deeper into what the IoT means for business.

Source: DFKI (2011)
The advent of the Internet of Things has been hailed by many tech and business experts as the fourth in a line of Industrial Revolutions that have occurred since the late 1700's (as shown in the chart to the left) due to the fundamental changes it will force business processes to make; changes that transcend just the digital space. The advancement generally center around the ease with which huge amounts of data that will be easily collected thanks to the sheer amount of devices that will be connected to the World Wide Web.

Take for example the ability for Starbucks HQ in Seattle to gather real-time data about which roasts are most popular in a specific city thanks to specialty coffee machines installed in over 500 locations throughout the country. Or hospitals with equipment that can be tested remotely thus eliminating downtime in the event of malfunction or track their own levels of vital materials to avoid shortages during emergencies.  Those are just a couple of ways the IoT can improve businesses in two completely different industries. The infographic below outlines a slew of ways through which many industries will be connected.

Source: industrial-ip.org

According to McKinsey & Company, the use of IoT for business can be divided into two broad categories:: information and analysis, and automation and control. These two categories can be whittled down into three distinct application each. Information and analysis can be divided into tracking behavior, enhanced situational awareness, and sensor-driven decision analytics. Automation and control can be divided into process optimization, optimized resource consumption. Some of these applications are better suited for manufacturing and business-to-business (B2B) industries but all are in some way relevant to consumer-facing enterprises.

Of course the increase in data collection means there has to be a way to sift through, analyze, and present said data in a way that it can actually be used. That's where DaaS, or data-as-a-service, comes into the picture, and where a tool like Salesforce's Force.com becomes invaluable because it gives you the abiltity to customize the way your enterprise uses it's data. And where SkyPlanner, your best choice for Salesforce consulting and customization, can help you achieve what you want to achieve by working with you to make sure your data collection requirements are met by your Salesforce implementation.