As Internet-of-Things technology becomes more affordable and readily available, it’s becoming accessible to a greater variety of businesses than ever before. That means the barriers to entry for IoT are getting lower—but before implementing these new technologies, it’s important to develop a process for using them to set your business up for success. To that end, here are a few strategies to consider:
Identify your key performance indicators (KPIs) in advance
IoT projects and devices can give you access to a great deal of data, but it’s important to identify which data points are actually relevant to your business, or you’ll just end up with more information that you don’t know what to do with. For instance, if you’re using Apple’s iBeacon location-aware technology to track shoppers’ locations in your store with sensors, you may want to know how many shoppers passed a specific aisle, but how many of them visited the bathroom is not relevant to your marketing team (though it may still be good data for your building service contractor). If multiple departments are engaging with the data, determine the relevant data sets for each one, and identify the KPI benchmarks you’d like to surpass.
Set up trigger actions based on targeted behaviors
While some uses of connected devices involve simply collecting data for later analysis, with many, it is possible to set trigger actions based on specific behavior. For instance, if a retail customer who has an iPhone equipped with iBeacon passes a specific aisle, your store cansend a targeted promotional offer for a product in her immediate vicinity. Trigger actions can also be used to improve employee responsiveness: For instance, a cleaning service that uses IoT-equipped soap dispensers can determine when dispensers are nearly empty based on how often they have been pumped, which can trigger an immediate cleaning service request.
Integrate your data with a cloud-based platform
In order to effectively make use of your IoT data, it’s important to integrate with the systems that run your business. Cloud-based platform, such as Salesforce, offer flexibility, ease of customization, and a platform to grow and scale your new service offerings. Cloud based IoT platforms such as 2lemetry, Xively, and Axeda make it possible to broker the massive amounts of data into those core Enterprise systems so that you can stop staring at a dashboard and start making things happen!
Optimize your business processes based on your data insights
Your IoT devices will be able to collect significant amounts of data, and you can use this data to analyze trends in your business. Over time, work on modifying existing processes to optimize desired responses: For instance, as a retailer, if you create a larger in-store display, will you be able to increase your promotional offer redemption rates for iBeacon customers? While IoT data insights are valuable for helping you drill down to study specific business trends more closely, these insights are far more valuable if you act on them to improve what’s not working in your business.