As the world grows more technologically oriented, businesses must adapt in order to stay relevant. One way they do this is by using alternative internet connected devices, called the “Internet of Things”, to promote their products and services. In brief, the Internet of Things is a network of physical devices such as vehicles and appliances that are embedded with electronic software that allows them to exchange data. Apps, smart retail, GPS connected cars, and wearables are all able to access the internet, allowing data sharing to completely customize consumers’ daily living experience. Here are some ways your company can tap into this prospective market, and protect itself from the dangers associated with this emerging technology.
Access to the internet is rapidly changing the face of world industry. With more and more shopping occurring online rather than in person, businesses are adapting their marketing focus to the internet to capture the attention of as many consumers as possible. Make your company stand out by offering your customers the power to customize their experience with their frequently used devices. For example, did you know that there are smartphone apps that connect to smart cars and allow the owners to turn on their car from inside the house? Apps like this also allow owners to locate their vehicles and pre-programmed travel zone limits, curfews, and speed limits (a useful tool for parents of insubordinate teens).
For manufacturing companies, IoT network-equipped machinery can now inform factory managers of inefficiencies and maintenance needed on the assembly line before these issues stall production. IoT connected devices can also help maintain quality and consistency between batches of products. The data collected by connected devices also allow companies to ‘read between the lines’ and determine where changes need to happen in order to preserve efficiency and profitability. Cargo-hauling vehicles and trucks with GPS tracking can be located at any time and rerouted to ensure that materials and products make it to their destination quickly and safely. Connected devices can also promote safety by alerting managers when unsafe working conditions occur, such as when a fire extinguisher is removed from its hook or if there are unsafe chemicals in the air.
A Cautionary Tale
As beneficial as the connectivity between devices is, there are some drawbacks that must be addressed. As a relatively new technology, connected devices make users more vulnerable to hackers and those desiring to cause digital harm. Increasingly, autonomous devices make security risks more likely as self monitoring devices may not be checked as regularly as devices still overseen by human handlers. Consumer privacy also emerges as a huge issue as the more of our lives we put out into the digital world, the more vulnerable we become. Not only that, but the massive amounts of data collected by these devices may be misused by individuals and corporations without our knowledge, creating a controversy over who should control the data.
So how can your business fight against this disruptive data collection? By using these techniques:
- Emphasize security as a top priority for your company.
- Become familiar with hacking techniques and adopt software and practices that thwart them.
- Develop a system of authorization that allows access to only those deemed necessary.
- Prepare for the inevitable security breaches.
The more you prepare for securing rapidly changing technology, the safer your company’s data will be.
With so many different methods to get the message of your products or services out there, the marketing potential seems unlimited. The internet allows companies to communicate with and promote their services to individuals around the globe, and the IoT allows the internet to reach into the most seemingly mundane devices. But with new technology come certain risks that must be addressed to protect your customers and your business from misuse of IoT-connected data collection.