Four core ways that IoT will improve technology

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/karandaev)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is just as much a platform as it is a new standard for technological development and integration. Just as the personal computer enabled new use cases and gave end users new ways to be productive and be entertained, IoT will enable a number of digital improvements to the status quo. All these potential improvements and use cases belong to one of four main uses, much in the way that previous technologies, like the PC, touched all industries.

Improving management

Already many entrepreneurs and developers are envisioning a future powered by the IoT. Having fully automated homes is no longer the complicated and expensive dream reserved for millionaires built with custom software, but instead an opportunity anyone can realize with the right, reasonably priced hardware at their fingertips. IoT will enable new ways to collect, understand, and control information, whether it’s something as simple as controlling your home from a tablet, to managing an entire factory from a single workstation. Clear improvements to system management become inherent as more technology is digitized and connected across a growing number of platforms.

Enabling monetization

The next primary use case for IoT falls under opportunities to monetize and generally improve businesses, not just for the firms themselves, but for the end users who interact with those firms as well. IoT will enable new industrial and commercial ways to control pricing, inventories, status updates, and generally understand more directly and intimately the entire workflow or production process between the raw materials and a paying customer. What this means is faster methods for identifying pain points, improved processes, and ultimately lower costs in service, quality, or pricing. This makes monetization easier, faster, and occurring with greater overall satisfaction, no matter the industry of application.

Determining new operations

Like with any major technological shift, new technologies offer new ways to do business, improve once difficult tasks, and ultimately create entirely new business models out of thin air. Just as the PC opened up new home-grown software enterprises with nothing more than a computer and one’s independent drive, IoT demands new models for global, scaled, always-connected information streams. These streams in turn allow individuals and firms alike to make more informed decisions, whether it’s a potential global strategy or simply the most efficient way to commute.

Extending reach

The last use case for IoT is defined by expanding boundaries beyond previous expectations, no matter the industry, purpose, or scale. In a fully digitized world, IoT will promote more ways to reach information and for people to more easily reach who they want to communicate with. As the world shifts to unified communication models, having a global, unlimited reach is more important than ever to maximize access to critical, actionable information for personal or business needs.

It’s important to ground the coming IoT revolution in core concepts like these four digital improvements. IoT is a clear trend in the way we collect and use information, and this in turn revolves around improved management, new monetizations, creative opportunities, and a greater reach across any scale. Everything that can be gained through IoT falls within these core fields, and as opportunities in IoT are realized there will certainly be many examples to fall within these paradigms.

Can you think of any other ways the IoT will improve technology? Let us know in the comments.

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