The power of the IoT platform in the workplace

By Becky Lawlor

As more and more consumers are adopting Internet of Things (IoT) technology, wearables like wristwatches and glasses are garnering significant press coverage. Less popularized, however, has been the powerful impact the IoT platform is having on enterprises.

According to IDC’s report, “Empowering the Workforce for Business Transformation: Worldwide and U.S. Forecast for Mobility, 2014–2019,” companies worldwide are forecasted to spend $1.2 trillion on mobile tech in 2019, reports Wireless Week. Meanwhile, Gartner predicts that 26 billion IoT units will be installed by 2020. Given these forecasts, it’s not surprising that enterprises are now integrating the IoT platform onto their employees’ corporate devices to ensure connectivity among workers — and to take productivity to the next level. While this trend is still in its infancy, it looks promising.

The promise of IoT lies in connectivity

The IoT is all about using embedded sensors, actuators and other Internet-based devices to connect employees, mobile devices and systems. As Joep van Beurden, the former CEO of CSR, pointed out to McKinsey & Company, only 10 percent of the IoT’s value is created by the “things” themselves, while the remaining 90 percent is derived from the ability to actually connect these things with the Internet. After all, connectivity is essential to an organization’s ability to collect and share data that can be used to improve collaboration and make better decisions regarding its services, operations and products. As such, this is an area where enterprises see long-term value.

Connectivity leads to more collaboration

One way that enterprises are incorporating IoT connectivity is through mobile device management (MDM), which allows IT departments to have remote access to computers, mobile devices and other connected devices. This type of remote-access technology enables employees to have full control over their smartphones and tablets. In the future, such connectivity will even allow devices to automatically communicate with each other, increasing collaboration between managers and employees. These workers will be able to pass key information onto other team members without having to wait for the device user to read the message and respond.

When taken to the next level, this type of connectivity will truly alter the enterprise workplace. Connected mobile devices will become capable of drawing data from various sources to inform decision-making, takeg care of routine tasks and better understand a user’s preferences and needs. Additionally, IoT connectivity can provide opportunities for device-to-device collaboration, such as provisioning and issuing updates among different enterprise software and devices.

New planes of productivity

IoT technology also allows for an increase in workplace productivity. After all, companies using IoT data can redesign jobs and processes for greater efficiency and effectiveness, which can then lower costs, improve services and provide more accurate supply chain management. An integrated IoT device platform also further enables mobile workers in the field to stay connected and provides greater accessibility to information.

Likewise, in the factories setting, McKinsey & Company estimates that IoT productivity could potentially provide a 10 to 25 percent improvement in labor efficiency. For example, factory workers who wear augmented-reality devices, such as goggles that display data, can access the information they need to perform correct procedures without having to find a computer terminal.

In a world that’s already venturing into a mobile-first mindset, the added layer of connectivity that an IoT platform offers enterprises is opening new doors. Companies are finding that by facilitating connectivity among corporate devices, they can experience numerous positive payoffs in terms of improved engagement, increased efficiency and accelerated innovation. And this is just the beginning.

Written By

Becky Lawlor

Technology Writer

Becky Lawlor is a freelance technology writer specializing in mobility, cloud computing, unified communications and collaboration solutions. She develops and writes content that helps technology buyers understand and evaluate technology solutions, modernize their IT infrastructure…

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