Consumer IoT and in-premises IoT ecosystem constitute the two ends of the Internet of Things spectrum. Wearables and monitoring devices with sensors are already part of a consumer’s daily life. Meanwhile, leading corporations leverage IoT for controlling costs, improving productivity, optimizing processes and even for scheduling maintenance.
Between the two ends of the spectrum lies the huge market of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that are steadily embracing the potential of the Internet of Things for innovation; something that can help them stand out among competition.
According to a study by Gartner last year, 80% of such companies that invested in IoT agree that their ROI exceeded expectations.
Let’s get into the details.
SMEs & IoT
IoT opens up a whole new dimension of data generation and gathering, processing and analysis, which in turn empowers SMEs with great process control and customization capabilities. This way, almost every aspect of their business can be managed effectively and with notable improvements.
To facilitate such innovation, a commonly adopted approach is to engage in a strategic partnership with third-party companies specializing in the application of the Internet of Things in a business ecosystem.
Many SMEs are reluctant to go forward with a full-scale IoT investment, and instead, opt for stable & secure IoT platforms that fit in well with their business ecosystem. Such platforms enable these SMEs to overcome technical challenges without having to solve them internally like they used to. Furthermore, these platforms give SMEs access to IoT technology developed by leading IoT specialists through their platform without forcing them to make significant investments. Most said platforms are scalable and offer a great degree of customizability.
How SMEs Can Benefit From IoT
The main goal of SMEs investing in IoT is end-to-end innovation. This covers everything from process optimization and cost reduction to new business models and faster Time to Market.
Cost Reduction – By co-developing with a third party IoT specialist, SMEs can opt not to tax their infrastructure with the new hardware and software elements by adopting a pay-per-use cloud IoT platform. This way, expenditures are limited to only the number of users and terminals required for their management. The result is a significant reduction in costs.
Customizability & Scalability – The degree of customizability varies with the chosen IoT platform. But SMEs can be rest assured that the IoT platform is compatible with their ecosystem and configured to meet all their business requirements, provided the platform they choose is stable and well-developed. As for scalability, the right platform certainly enables SMEs to expand their services on-the-go without restrictions.
Real-time Data Access – All an enterprise needs is an internet connection, and the platform’s dashboard will display all the important data from various connected devices in real time and constantly update them.
Process Optimization – A combination of sensors and powerful data analytics capabilities facilitate significant improvements for core processes, making operations more agile.
Improved Productivity & Efficiency – If the enterprise and the IoT platform provider implement the aforementioned advantages properly, the combined result will be a more productive business environment that allows enterprise personnel to perform their tasks effectively and on time.
Faster Time-To-Market – With improved productivity and the insights from data analytics, SMEs would be able to get their products or services into the market much faster. The CRM and the IoT data can give SMEs a good idea of customer needs, and the means to promote the product or service that fulfills those needs. This way, they are less likely to look for other alternatives. This can give enterprises a great competitive edge.
IoT Data – Business Intelligence – Using big data analytics, the data collected by IoT sensors becomes business intelligence that paints a picture of buyer persona, their attitudes, expectations and preferences.
New Business Models – A perfectly configured IoT platform opens new doors to innovative business models that align with client preferences and needs. This way, the enterprise can deliver more value to existing and potential customers with their products and/or services.
Access To Tech Expertise – A reputed IoT vendor can offer a platform that features the most advanced IoT tech developed by leading specialists. Utilizing such technology directly demands huge monetary investment, which SMEs may want to avoid when they are just stepping into IoT. But with the technology already incorporated into a customizable IoT platform, the investment would be significantly smaller in comparison. Essentially, SMEs get access to the expertise of the IoT specialist they partner with; a partner that makes sure that the best IoT tech is efficiently integrated to the business ecosystem while fitting within their budget.
With more SMEs ready to embrace IoT for rapid innovation, we will soon witness IoT becoming a necessity among businesses everywhere, as part of the race to keep up with competition.
If you are running an SME, you should start narrowing down an IoT platform with a high ROI. WeMakeIoT offers such a platform, tailored for SMEs to empower them in true IoT fashion. If you are interested to learn more, get in touch with us today.