How can SME businesses benefit from the internet of things?
With technology at the forefront of modern business, how we merge communication in the digital and physical worlds is becoming more important than ever. The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a system of physical devices connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. It can allow people and businesses to be more connected to the world around them and to action more meaningful and intelligent tasks.
A competitive advantage for growing SMEs
IoT will continue to influence how management systems function and how we do business. The possibilities for connectivity are endless, allowing any object to be transformed into an IoT device. An app which allows you to control your heating or a motion sensor that triggers CCTV are simple examples of where IoT assists us in controlling and automating everyday tasks. The same technologies and logic can be put into business to provide real time information and drive efficiencies in the way we work.
IoT for SME’s offers a real competitive advantage helping businesses to utilise cutting edge technology and continually improve their processes by minimising time consuming tasks through automation.
Thanks to cheaper processors and the ever-increasing availability of wireless networks, IoT technology is readily available to the SME market and already driving forward-thinking businesses. A simple IoT device can be built for pennies and be online in seconds. Making SME systems more intelligent is a now a reality. To process the communication from IoT devices, a business requires a platform capable of integrating data across management systems. In an intelligent business there should also be only ‘one version of the truth’ meaning data is collected and collated into a single source.
The SAP Business One Integration Framework, or B1IF, is a tool purposely built for exchanging data across the digital landscape. It can be used to consolidate communication, trigger workflows or automated tasks within SAP Business One’s digital core. This powerful and scalable platform is key to allowing digital transformation that improves processes and decision making.
Creating intelligent companies
With devices communicating in real time with ERP systems, you can now start realising the full potential of IoT and intelligent systems. A manufacturing company can proactively be alerted when a product encounters a fault, wholesale distributors can understand the status of stock on their shelves and alert when they are running low, food and beverage businesses have the knowledge fridges are running at safe temperatures and services companies know the locations of their engineers – A wealth of consistent and accurate information delivered directly to the people and systems that need it.
This creates an intelligent company capable of identifying, responding, and resolving issues which have arisen or are developing faster and more accurately than ever before.
IoT in the real-world
A real-world example of IoT devices being used is linked to the increasing problems of localised flooding. SME businesses that supply and monitor field-based water pumping equipment are now using this integrated IoT technology to proactively address critical equipment performance issues; ultimately providing a higher level of customer service.
Don’t assume IoT and an intelligent business results in people losing their jobs. Incorporating IoT functionality enables businesses to do more for customers and achieve high level goals. Removing the mundane from a workforce’s routine frees time to concentrate on the more important matters.
As an ERP provider with over 25 years’ experience at the leading edge of business solutions, Thinc are helping SMEs with digital transformation by implementing IoT and Intelligence Systems.