IoT for Small Business – Impact and Future Prospects
Internet of Things impact on small business operations and the barriers to their rapid adaptation – Gauging the return on investment and its long-term viability
Internet of Things (IoT) and the technologies associated with it are creating immense excitement amongst its proponents worldwide. While no one ignores its many benefits, its adaptation among small enterprises is still rather slow. As per a survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit of 561 executives globally, to study the scale of adoption of IoT among manufacturing businesses, only 19% were planning radical changes to adopt the new technologies while 39% had just introduced digital training.
Technically, IoT is still in its nascent stage of growth as the application and uses of the diverse IoT technologies is still being understood and conceived by the developers. The primary issue that is pointed out is that the devices must be able to communicate with one another, irrespective of the brand. Also, no international standards have been established for the IoT communication protocols, making it difficult for small businesses to establish standards of practice. The absence of regulation leads to the even greater problem of security, thus adding a question mark to its value.
The Way Forward– Telecom companies such as AT&T have set up platforms for education businesses on IoT technologies and their easy adoption. Further, an initiative by businesses to educate employees in application of technology at work goes a long way in easy adoption.
IoT SaaS applications that create a seamless interaction between mobile devices and other web-enabled technology are fast replacing software applications as low-cost alternatives that are easy to use. Mobile application development leveraging technologies such as Beacons, GPS, Map, Voice recognition etc. are economically viable and easily integrated into the most complex technologies. Further, cloud technology adds impetus through easy data management in a secure environment. These initiatives are promoting early adoption of IoT-based software technologies.
As awareness grows, the adoption rate is likely to increase for IoT-based mobility solutions that will automate business operations and end-to-end processes.