Experts from Rogers and Mero explore how to get started with IoT for your business
When you start exploring the world of Smart Technologies and Smart Buildings, you immediately come across the term IoT (Internet of Things). IoT refers to devices and objects with built-in, Internet-connected sensors that collect and share data. These are usually connected to a software platform, which can integrate the data, apply analytics and manage certain systems. So if you want to use IoT to build your business, how do you get started?
Adam Burley, Senior IoT Manager at Rogers Business, joined Nathan Mah, Co-founder at Mero, on episode 2 of the ‘Going from 0 to 1 with IoT’ podcast to discuss achieving your IoT objectives and helping startups get ready for success. He explained that the core challenge is “first, understanding the problem that you’re looking to solve, and than asking if that is in fact the problem that you’re looking to solve.” But how do you do that?
It’s not as easy as a simple flip of a switch. In order to implement your plan, it’s important to recognize that the adoption of IoT is a continuous journey. Identifying the factors to consider when bringing your IoT Business plan to fruition is important in creating a strong foundation during the planning process. As Adam Burley explains it, most organizations become overwhelmed just by the thought of this stage in the process. Think about IoT in the context of the people, processes and technologies that make up your business can help you map out your IoT strategy Once you’ve identified the main points on your journey, they can become easily identifiable data-driven values to input into your 4 Pillars of Value in IoT.
Now let’s explore the Pillars.
4 Pillars of Value in IoT
1. Customer Experience:
‘Leverage technology in a way that delivers exceptional customer experience. Can you use that? And how do you use that as a differentiator within your market?’
Adam expresses the importance of a “customer experience comes first” mindset. Without a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey and a clear idea of the experience you want to create for your customers, it will be difficult to position your IoT toolset to give you a competitive advantage.
At the end of the day, the goal is to create a lasting impression on the customer, which is where the focus on enhancing the customer experience itself comes to play.
2. Operational Efficiency:
‘I think, particularly over the past year or two, we have seen an increased focus on sustainability and sustainability initiatives that have a natural financial benefit associated with them.’
The adoption of Smart Technologies to drive operational efficiency has enabled an increased focus on sustainability and sustainability initiatives over the past couple of years. Adam mentions that ‘it’s not always associated with direct problems’ and that these sustainability initatives often have a natural financial benefit associated with them. What better way, then, to achieve your desired outcomes than with automated Smart Technologies.
3. Leverage Technology to Manage Risk:
‘I think that first and foremost there’s no better opportunity than IoT to provide that visibility and insight.’
The impact of risk can vary from business to business. Adam explains that businesses are increasingly adopting the concept of being a “data-driven” organization. This means having the data to understand how you are performing from day-to-day. By collecting and analyzing this data for your clients, you can bring further value and insights to daily decision making based on factual evidence.
4. Employee Engagement:
‘How do we provide a better experience to our employees internally? How do we make tools available to them that will allow them to be more productive, or allow us to allocate real estate space effectively so that they have the tools to be satisfied and successful in the workplace.’
Adam notes that equipping your employees with the proper tools and readily available real estate to work productively and thrive is an important concept. Making this a core value to your IoT operations can enhance satisfaction and success within your organization.
The Importance of Security
Security is a major priority within the Smart Technology and IoT segments. This technology typically operates under the use of a modem that will communicate to the cloud, providing information that can include dashboard insights and trigger actions. In some cases the absence or lack of active patching can pose new vulnerabilities, creating added risk. So what can you actively do to mitigate these risks?
Due Diligence and Speak to Specialists
One of Adam’s key recommendations is the importance of, first, knowing the problem that you are trying to solve, and then determining if that really is the core problem. ‘It should be a part of the due diligence process to … Speak to qualified individuals who are within that space and can help you with that.’
In other words, utilize both your peers and your fellow experts. They can provide insights and recommendations that can improve your organization’s approach to tackling operational problems, which in turn increases operational efficiency.