How IoT Connectivity is Relevant to Your Industry

Do you need help with something?

Share this article

26 Apr 2024

How IoT Connectivity is Relevant to Your Industry

Forget the clichés of flying cars and robot butlers. The real future is already here. The Internet of Things (IoT) has woven itself into the fabric of our daily lives. It is quietly connecting everyday objects and unlocking a world of possibilities.

For businesses, IoT has emerged as a transformative force. It is changing the way we work across industries from retail to farming. In this article, we will look at IoT’s applications, its benefits and potential challenges, and how it’s reshaping key industries.

How IoT is relevant for small businesses

Whether you run a cosy coffee shop or freelance from home, IoT is a real asset. It will improve efficiency, productivity, and, most importantly, your bottom line.

By automating everyday tasks, IoT lets you focus on what really matters in your business. Smart thermostats and lighting not only make your workspace more comfortable. They can cut energy bills. And just like bigger businesses, IoT can monitor stock levels, enable contactless payments, and enhance security. With affordable and scalable smart surveillance systems.

When it comes to teamwork and project management, IoT-driven tools can be really helpful. They create digital collaborative spaces where you and your team can share ideas, track project progress, and ensure you're hitting those deadlines for a smoother, more efficient workflow.

For SMEs, IoT can also level the marketing playing field. It allows you to automate emails based on customer actions, like abandoned carts or birthday promotions. And schedule and publish social media posts in advance.

And don’t forget that all-important data showing your customers’ behaviours, preferences and interactions. It all helps you refine your marketing strategies. Deliver personalised, targeted content and tweak how you operate for the best possible returns.

IoT in retail

In the fast-paced world of retail, IoT helps you stay ahead by making shopping smarter.

Instead of spending valuable time on manual stock checks, shelves equipped with sensors. These alert you the moment an item sells out. White goods like fridges actively monitor storage conditions and raise the alarm if something’s wrong. They can also track products nearing their expiry date. So you can reduce prices in time to attract budget-conscious shoppers and, importantly, cut down on food waste.

Smart payment terminals help time-poor customers zip through checkout with contactless payments or mobile wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay. For a faster, more hygienic experience.

And for a real touch of customer magic, you can actually track customers’ movements, which can trigger sending promotions and buying recommendations straight to their phones. This is thanks to RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology.

With IoT, you get the complete picture. Your bestsellers (and those unloved items gathering dust) and how customers move around, pinpointing your hot (and chillier) spots. The result? Real data-driven insights that can help boost customer engagement, loyalty and sales.

IoT in agriculture

In agriculture, IoT is a breath of fresh air.

Sensors and GPS connectivity can turn machinery like tractors, harvesters, sprayers, and other farm equipment into tools for precision. For tasks like row planting, targeted fertilisation and pesticide application, and plan harvesting routes that minimise overlap and waste, and maximise yields.

Soil sensors can collect data on moisture, nutrient levels, crop health, and environmental conditions. Giving a heads-up about potential problems. In a greenhouse, environment monitoring systems can track temperature, humidity, and light, triggering irrigation or adjusting settings. To ensure your fruit and veg thrive.

Drones are now a key part of crop monitoring and management. IoT cameras and sensors can map and assess the health of every inch of a field or orchard. They can also detect pests and disease, and apply targeted treatments to minimise water waste, protect vital pollinators, and support sustainable food production. All in a fraction of the time it would take a whole team of farmworkers.

Livestock management has also got a tech makeover. GPS or RFID technology tells you exactly where your animals are at any time. While sensors or wearable tech collect data on their activity levels, feeding patterns, and wellbeing. Moocall’s innovative collars can even tell when a cow is ready to breed and send a text message when she’s about to calve.

And just like in our homes, IoT can monitor and adjust temperature, humidity, and air quality to create the best possible living conditions for happy animals.

IoT in hospitality

The days of battling temperamental thermostats and fumbling for key cards are numbered. Thanks to IoT, hotels are evolving into more intelligent havens for that home-from-home feeling.

Smart thermostats, lights, and connected appliances like smart speakers can learn guests' preferences. By adjusting room temperatures, creating ambient lighting and playing welcoming music from personal playlists with a simple voice command.

While lifelike robots on reception desks remain a novelty (for now), digital check-ins are reducing queues and waiting times. Wearable devices are also increasingly being used to give guests contactless access to rooms and amenities. And there’s the bonus of tracking guests’ movements for valuable insights into the most popular places. And revealing the peaks and troughs to help effective staff planning.

For bars and restaurants, like retail, smart sensors in coolers and fridges keep a vigilant eye on stock levels. So you never run out of the favourites. In the kitchen, AI-powered ovens and fryers can help ensure culinary consistency. While guests browse interactive menus, order and pay digitally. And to keep service running like clockwork, wearable tech for your staff ensures quick and easy communication so everyone’s always in the loop.

IoT in tech industries

The tech industry is the heartland of IoT innovation. So it’s no surprise it practises what it preaches.

In prototype testing, IoT can monitor everything from temperature to pressure to user interactions. Gathering data that allows engineers to fine-tune new tech faster and more efficiently. It also enables designers to bring 3D models and prototypes to life in a shared virtual space. Where teams can make changes on the go, share ideas and picture new products.

Affordable IoT platforms and tools mean even small start-ups can now tap into the power of connected devices. This opens up exciting possibilities for disruptive innovation. Letting anyone with a great idea bring it to life without needing deep pockets.

IoT-powered factories are also becoming a reality, transforming manufacturing as robots and machines communicate to speed or automate production. IoT can also anticipate faults or flag service requirements to prevent downtime. While AI-quality control can monitor and analyse the finished product for the tiniest flaw so customers receive nothing but the best.

Advantages and disadvantages of IoT

While every industry has unique challenges. The hurdles in implementing IoT are quite common. A seamless integration of IoT into your business doesn't just happen. It needs thoughtful planning and precise execution. Be prepared, though – the initial setup and the technical expertise required for an IoT system can be a bit steep, especially for smaller businesses.

In today's data-centric world, protecting customer information and securing transactions is also critical. It's not just about protecting data. It's about preserving trust. Security breaches can have serious consequences, ranging from financial hits to legal troubles, and damage your business reputation. So, it's crucial to opt for devices equipped with robust security features. Such as encrypted communication and strong authentication methods.

The key is to ask for advice if you need it. And for businesses who embrace the challenge, the rewards can be well worth it.

Personalised experiences and contactless convenience make your customers happy and keep them coming back for more. Real-time updates on what’s in stock, with smart systems looking after your heating and lighting, help you save money and reduce waste. IoT also helps free up your time, by automating those thankless, repetitive tasks so you can look at the bigger picture, boosting efficiency. And you can access valuable data that’s gold dust for making savvy decisions that help you stay one step ahead of the competition.

The great thing about IoT is that it’s for everyone. And with new tech and apps constantly popping up, the sky’s the limit. Whether you’re an established player in your field or just starting out, IoT opens up a world of opportunity for growth and success via a smarter, more sustainable, and connected future.

To find out more about IoT in your industry or for 1-2-1 support on any other issues, get in touch with our V-Hub Digital Advisers.

Thanks for your feedback!

Related Articles