The Internet of Things (IoT) is a tech concept that has been circling around the interweb for years now. Yet, many fail to comprehend its role and impact as a valuable business asset.
By 2020 there will be over 50B connected devices. This interconnected network is already impacting the way we do things. However, there some people are terrified of the Internet of Things, including Vint Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the internet. Others think that there is nothing to panic about IoT’s seemingly omnipresent nature and its threat to privacy.
Small-business owners can use IoT to help create a more efficient work environment. Those 50B IoT devices can help work smarter, not harder!
There are a couple of ways every small business should be utilizing this new technology and other connected devices.
Hire a Free Assistant
Invest in Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device. The obvious use case of IoT is the remote control of other smart devices. However, the convenience of IoT devices really comes to play when you hook them up with reminder and task management systems, note-taking tools, your calendars or even social media. Considering that pretty much every entrepreneur out there will be using their voice assistants in a couple of years from now, it’s a trend that is likely to be ubiquitous in the future.
Cut Down Your Multitasking
Quick question: how many applications, tabs and windows do you have open on your web browser at the moment? Some studies have shown that most of us are actually terrible at multitasking, contrary to popular belief. You can manage your time more efficiently by setting up workflows that arrange the things you need in one place. This could mean Trello, Evernote, Slack, One Note, Google Drive even your calendar or email inbox – your can customize the system according to your needs, and then fill it with important news, notifications, leads, campaign stats, and sales data.
Automate Office Security
At a small company, forgetting to lock the door or even leaving the lights on overnight can have dire consequences. You can create peace of mind by automating the office space with some IoT devices. These devices are actually not as expensive as most people initially assume. Also, you don’t need to install a complicated system or buy expensive multi-device package to secure a small office.
For just a couple hundred bucks you can get a first-class smart lock and a set of smart bulbs. Then, you can purchase smart devices that will open up/shut down the office for you. You might even have money left over for a coffeemaker that will start making coffee as soon as you walk through the front door.
Better Communication with Your Team
Don’t panic yet – it’s not like IoT has evolved to the point where a cyborg boss is trying to take your job. But, the chances are that some of the routine updates and reminders you share with your co-workers could be automated. If you use a communication tool like Skype, Slack, GroupMe, CiscoSpark, or Telegram, you can make sure that the right piece of information gets shared with the team, at the right time. For example, you can share relevant news to a group or set automatic reminders for yourself before meetings start.