It is no secret that the Internet of Things (IoT) has exploded in recent years. In 2015, there were about 15.4 billion connected devices and, according to IHS, that number will reach 30.7 billion in 2020 and 75.4 billion by 2025. But, after all, this technology is for the exclusive use of large corporations, or is it possible to use IoT solutions for small businesses?
Today, there are many ways in which SMEs can use IoT technology to improve everyday life at work.
Here are some ways IoT can help small businesses work more efficiently and productively.
IoT Benefits for Small Businesses
The benefits of IoT for small businesses and consumers are similar in terms of the ability to share and receive information, besides minimizing some time-consuming tasks through automated functionalities.
There is also a greater level of customization that can be achieved thanks to the Machine Learning that devices use to improve various interactions and experiences.
When looking for ways to incorporate IoT in small businesses, it is possible to identify several solutions capable of making companies more productive and effective in their daily lives. Check out some of them:
1. Virtual assistants
For those who can’t afford to pay for a human assistant, but still need an extra hand, IoT help is available to resolve this issue.
Some alternatives are Google Assistent, Amazon Alexa or Siri. The great highlight of these devices is that they can be connected to other smart devices and management systems. Thus, these virtual assistants can control and automate various tasks by eliminating tasks, such as scheduling meetings, reminders, etc., making the day much more productive.
2. Efficient use of spaces
Small businesses don’t have a budget for wasting resources. In this sense, IoT can help by improving the use of office space. Using sensors, it is possible to capture activities to monitor which area or areas are most used in an office.
It is worth remembering that these devices don’t have cameras, so they don’t invade employee privacy.
The captured information is transmitted to management or HR and can, for example, show when the conference rooms are not used or reveal whether the restructuring of the office is necessary.
Perhaps a high flow of people is perceived between certain departments, which may indicate that they need to work closer together.
Anyway, there are many insights that can be obtained by analyzing the data captured by the sensors, which allows a better use of the workspace.
In addition, these devices can communicate with smart thermostats and lighting sensors. In this way, it is possible to control refrigeration and lighting in spaces, preventing the use of these resources in unoccupied places, which contributes to cost reduction.
3. Access control
Controlling access and ensuring safety in the workplace is essential for any business. Therefore, access and identity management is a point that deserves a lot of attention. There are different IoT solutions for small businesses that help with this.
A good example is express access, which concentrates all activity of entry permission in companies on mobile devices. Through digital invitations it is possible to grant access to anyone who needs to enter the premises of a company.
The great advantage is that this solution offers total management. Thus, you can stipulate the day, time or period when the invitation will be valid, and you have the option to revoke and create passwords that must be used when using the credential. These details make this solution highly secure.
This technology is also very beneficial for users, who don’t have to waste time in queues or presenting documentation at the reception. They just need to use their own mobile device to allow access to turnstiles, gateways and parking lots.
IoT for small businesses and competitiveness
The IoT industry will improve the way we work, making more efficient use of resources and space. For SMEs trying to grow and compete with large companies, this efficiency is crucial.
As the IoT continues to automate certain tasks, such as customer service and resource management, small organizations must take advantage of offers to remain competitive in the market, maximize their profits and expand their operation.
Now that you know that there are several very common IoT applications for small businesses, be sure to check out our tips on how to motivate employees in SMEs.