[Article] Six Business Benefits of the Internet of Things

  • By WSO2 Team
  • 19 Feb, 2017

The Internet of Things (IoT) is set to play a key role in the business world as organizations increasingly look for innovative ways to maintain their competitive edge. Research firm International Data Corp was recently quoted as saying the IoT market is set to grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020 from around $655.8 billion in 20141. Another researcher, McKinsey & Company noted there will be between 20 to 30 billion connected devices by 20202.

It’s happening already. Consumers are seeing the value in seamlessly connecting and syncing various devices ranging from their fitness trackers to cars to home security cameras. Enterprises too across all verticals are investing in IoT as part of efforts to become digitally transformed and leverage the benefits of these connected things and the valuable data they provide. This article will explore 6 key business benefits of IoT focusing on enterprise mobile and application management and IoT platforms that connect people, devices, and applications.

Enterprise mobile and application management for greater productivity and efficiency

Secure and manage employees’ mobile devices

Managing and monitoring mobile devices has been redefined today as the very definition of a mobile device has changed dramatically. Previously, enterprise mobility management (EMM) was predominantly focused on mobile device management (MDM); however, with the mobile device space now expanding to include notebooks, 2-in-1 devices and wearables, etc., organizations too need to rethink the way they do EMM. Mobile and mobile applications have become an inherent part of an individual’s work life today. Therefore, to keep pace, organizations need to adopt strategies that are both useful to the employee as well as beneficial in terms of cost and effort to manage. To this end, many organizations are allowing employees to use their own devices (BYOB) or a company provided (COPE) device to carry out their day-to-day tasks. To effectively manage these, apart from MDM policies, they also need to have a well-defined mobile application management (MAM) strategy.

Protect information assets

Studies have shown that almost two-thirds of smartphone owners used their personal devices for enterprise-related activities. For the organization, however, there could be some concerns related to possible security risks to information assets that are detrimental to the business. And because mobile devices are easily lost or stolen, data stored on these devices is vulnerable to such risks. With a secure EMM solution, you can configure your employees’ mobile device settings remotely and easily identify mobile activities that could put your confidential information at risk. This will help you to stay on top of your employees’ activities without compromising privacy and security; some of the key functionality include tracking call logs and messages of a suspicious nature, and remotely configuring settings like deleting or blocking certain mobile applications that are potential threats.

Apply process improvements and gain productivity

With the right technology and proper implementation, an EMM solution can be beneficial to the organization in terms of improving processes and achieving greater productivity. Employees become more productive due to their ability to work from anywhere; the organization too can enable this via the right technology without worrying about information leaks. A recent study by IDG concluded organizations that implemented technologies, such as EMM, to support mobile infrastructure reported around 50% increase in productivity and a 39% increase in employee morale. The benefits are extended to the organization’s IT department as well with the availability of EMM capabilities such as self-service app stores, remote provisioning, policy-driven configuration, and remote wiping of data.

A complete, flexible, and extensible IoT platform that connects people, devices, and applications

Foster innovation to embrace digital transformation

Today we are in an era where customers do not need to come to the enterprise anymore to meet their requirements. The availability of mobile devices and the use of social media have prompted enterprises to make a significant shift in direction in how they reach out to customers. Enterprises need to be proactive and find innovative ways to take their business to the customer instead of waiting for the customer to find them. They also need to be increasingly visible in the customers’ environment in the appropriate format to remain competitive. IoT enables an organization to connect everything, making way for new digital business opportunities and thus expanding revenue streams.

Provide better consumer experiences

A key advantage of leveraging connected devices is that an organization will gain access to valuable data, like consumer behavior, buying patterns, individual preferences, etc. What this allows the organization to do is gather, monitor, and analyze consumer behavior via advanced analytics and proactively offer value-added experiences. For instance, consider a retail store that has gathered data about an individual who regularly buys a particular brand of soap each month; the store can now use that information and send the consumer customized updates about specific promotions on the product. This helps organizations to build brand loyalty with customers.

Make smart business decisions

When you think IoT, it’s smart devices that immediately come to mind; however it’s sensors that form a big part of this technology area. Sensors have the ability to provide precise determination of location, thus enabling a new level of location-based services, both indoors and outdoors. As a result, industries are able to offer greater customer experiences with enhanced services, such as easy navigation, hyper-local advertising, couponing, and pushing relevant information to meet specific requirements. This helps organizations to leverage these IoT devices to gain real-time insights into their businesses and respond better to enterprise requirements in a safe and secure way.

Today, WSO2 serves as a trusted technology partner for some of the world’s largest enterprises engaging in digital transformation initiatives. The company provides software purposely designed to meet today’s demands for an agile approach to API management, integration, identity and access management, smart analytics, and IoT.

From presence and behavioral tracking, asset management, vehicle fleet tracking, building automation controls to digital telematics, WSO2’s extensive IoT platform provides enterprises the capability to build mobile device and app management and enterprise IoT solutions.