How Entrepreneurs Can Ride the IoT Train
By Nathan Sykes
The IoT train is already pulling away from the station, but it's not too late to hop onboard. Engines like this take a lot of time to reach full speed and - just as the IoT - there are plenty of access points for latecomers. Don't want to wait too long, though - you don't want to get left in the dust of the competition.
Make Your Move as Early as Possible
It's critical that you begin advancing toward full-scale IoT integration as soon as possible. While this is especially true for startup ventures and young entrepreneurs, it applies universally. Since many of the technologies driving the IoT are still in their infancy, and with the entire platform fresh, new and innovative, now is the best time to start your journey.
Don't be afraid to start small. Tackling your company's transition to the IoT one step at a time lets you familiarize yourself with the various technology and infrastructure behind the IoT. Not only does this make it easier to progress through the subsequent steps in the process, but you'll also find it easier to troubleshoot problems and upgrade your system in the future.
Let's focus on the current state of the IoT and how it can help your startup business. As an entrepreneur, the IoT benefits you in numerous ways, including:
1. Remote Accessibility
Most entrepreneurs crave freedom. This applies to both their long-term career and the typical workday. With the IoT facilitating remote connectivity and making it possible to fulfill many different roles from nearly anywhere in the world, it's easy to see how this can make it easier to succeed as an entrepreneur in the 21st century.
The mobile workforce manifests itself in different forms. As an entrepreneur, it often means you can work from wherever you have an internet connection - whether it's a local coffee shop, your home office or at the beach, just about any location is fair game. The IoT even makes it possible to access industrial robots and related hardware systems via remote connection.
2. Big Data Management
According to recent studies, humans currently generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day. With this number growing at a steady pace, much of the data goes by the wayside - it's too much to handle for today's computers, IT administrators and data analysts.
However, the IoT might be the solution we need to rein in all this data. Some of the world's biggest companies are already reaping the rewards of doing so. Luckily, many of their strategies are easily applied on a smaller scale to meet your entrepreneurial needs.
UPS: The popular shipping company recently upgraded all delivery vehicles with built-in sensors to collect information regarding travel speeds, overall mileage, the total number of stops, engine health and other conditions. The data is later used to assist in route planning, various environmental sustainability initiatives and much more.
John Deere: One of the biggest brands in agriculture, John Deere's Field Connect platform uses moisture-monitoring sensors to transmit data to farmers. This information includes details on soil and air temperature, total precipitation, solar radiation and more.
These are just some of the ways businesses are using big data and the IoT to increase their profitability. Your big data needs will obviously be much smaller than those of UPS or John Deere, but their cases underscore both the versatility and the usefulness of big data. With so much potential, it's an area that demands your attention - regardless of the size or scale of your company.
3. Virtual Assistants
The dawn of the automated personal assistant is here - and entrepreneurs couldn't be happier. With devices like Amazon's Alexa or Google's Assistant, you can take notes, access social media and monitor your calendar while you're on the go. Most virtual assistants can control other smart devices, too, which increase their effectiveness among today's tech-savvy entrepreneurs.
Some view the modern virtual assistant as a passing fad, but recent statistics say otherwise. According to the latest studies, 98 percent of respondents said they'll still be using their virtual assistants five or more years from now. It looks like this trend might be here to stay.
Now that you have a better understanding of how the IoT benefits you as an entrepreneur, it's time to put your newfound knowledge into action. Boarding the train is just the first step, and the path ahead is anything but straightforward - but there are plenty of rewards waiting at the end of the line. From communicating with clients from anywhere in the world to making the most of big data and enlisting the help of a virtual assistant, it's a fun time to be alive.