How The “Internet of Things” Will Affect Small Business

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Just when you thought you had the Internet mastered, something new crops up on the horizon.

One of the newest advances that will likely revolutionize the world is the Internet of Things (IoT).

If you haven’t heard of this, you’re not alone, but this idea is fast becoming a realization. Simply put, the IoT refers to how it is possible to remotely control and monitor just about anything via sensors and, of course, your Internet connection – from opening your home’s garage door from your office to the level of dog food remaining in your pooch’s bowl.

This concept recently gained definition at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference when the company unveiled two applications for iOS8.

The first was the HealthKit app, which lets users keep up with health and fitness data without wearing an actual tracker. The other was the HomeKit that can remotely control electronic devices like lights and cameras at home.

While these developments are geared toward individuals, the impact this type of technology can have on businesses is astronomical, especially in revolutionizing small business.

The most readily recognizable change the IoT can bring for small businesses is an increase in efficiency and, consequently, productivity.

Internet of Things on Highway Signpost.Once the proper equipment is installed, inventory can be checked right from the Internet without ever making a trip to the warehouse or sales floor.

When this inventory is monitored by a computer, it is also free of human error, so it is more accurate. The IoT can be adapted to send alerts when systems require maintenance as well.

The Internet of Things won’t just improve how small businesses operate, it will create opportunities for entirely new small businesses to develop.

After all, someone has to install and repair the required equipment. There will also, undoubtedly, be other ways to capitalize on this new technology that cannot be presently foreseen. So, while automating many processes with IoT may phase out certain roles, it will open the door for new roles to be filled.

One of those potential roles may be in security, preventing hackers from having a heyday in the IoT.

With more online connectivity, there are more access points to small business systems.

This will require IoT experts to be vigilant against new threats and discover ways to thwart the efforts of cyber criminals.

(Image Source: iCLIPART)