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A Guide to Improving Efficiency with the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a highly promising invention. There is an abundance of applications and implications for businesses in numerous industries, but the IoT is difficult to describe because it is more of an idea that a concrete product.

It’s easier to understand what the IoT is by considering what it does. The IoT drastically improves efficiency in at least four significant ways for those using it.

Why is Efficiency Important?

There were 6.3 million IoT devices in 2016, and an estimated 8.3 for 2017. An astounding estimate of 20 to 30 billion IoT devices are predicted for 2020. Why are there so many connected devices in the enterprise? The answer is efficiency.

Business leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency, usually in relation to profit margin. The IoT can create significant benefits in terms of: manufacturing efficiency, energy efficiency, inventory efficiency, and lifestyle efficiency.

Manufacturing Efficiency

Through the use of sensors embedded in manufacturing equipment and placed throughout factories, businesses can identify potential bottlenecks in its manufacturing process. Once these bottlenecks are discovered, the process of working to address them can be undertaken, culminating in reduced manufacturing time and less waste.

As it stands, most companies use preventative maintenance on their machines, which means servicing them on set schedules in an attempt to prevent them from breaking down. While this may seem to be logical, it’s actually inefficient because it can result in unnecessary service which can waste both time and resources. The IoT allows manufacturers to predict exactly when a machine will break down in order to perform maintenance only when it is needed, thereby eliminating unnecessary service and the costs associated with it.

Energy Efficiency

Just as sensors can be used to measure when machines are about to break down, they can also be used to measure things like energy use, lighting, and temperature.

The Internet of Things uses intelligent algorithms to process the data collected by sensors and then to micromanage activities related to this data in real-time. Google has actually used this method to cut its energy expenditure by 15% in its data centers. Even for individual homeowners, smart thermostats can be used to turn off heating and cooling systems when nobody is home, saving money on energy bills at the end of each month.

Inventory Efficiency

For companies with large inventories of products, searching for a single item can be a time-consuming effort. With the digital transformation facilitated by IoT technology, businesses can place RFID and NFC tags on their products and share the exact location of single items in their inventory, thus lowering the cost of labor and the amount of time required to find an item.

Lifestyle Efficiency

Perhaps the most important thing that the IoT can help improve is efficiency in daily living. With IoT and intelligent cloud technology, there can be a digital transformation in the way data is received and analyzed that will improve all facets of people’s lives in every way imaginable.

Everything from the way we drive, to the way we shop, to the way we manage our health can and will be improved by intelligent edge provided by IoT. Imagine you are improving your home. One of the most popular applications of IoT is the smart home. Numerous products allow you to automate and remotely control temperature, security, and home appliances. Using IoT to control your home is highly convenient and efficient.

In this way, not only will our bank accounts be able to be managed in a more efficient manner, but the way we put our dollars to use and, ultimately, the methods we employ to squeeze the most joy out of our lives will be made more efficient by this new technology. For this reason, we should not be afraid of or resistant to intelligent edge or the Internet of Things, but rather embrace it with open arms as it helps us unlock our full potential as human beings.