Business leaders often expect overnight results from their Internet of Things (IoT) implementations. But recent data suggests that when it comes to IoT adoption, companies that allow efforts sufficient time to mature are the most satisfied with their results. A 2018 Forbes Insights survey found that 13% of executives reported a profit bump of 15–25% that year as a result of their IoT investments. A greater number of respondents, 30%, expected their profit to grow at the same rate by the following year. The findings suggest that as IoT-based processes take root within a midsize organization’s operations, they begin delivering clearer, more measurable results.
As the cost of connected hardware continues to plummet, and as midsize businesses begin to grasp the potential of IoT to streamline operations, reduce costs, increase security, and establish new revenue streams, the middle market’s use of IoT is on the rise. Consider supply chain tracking for a florist with five brick-and-mortar locations in a major metropolitan area. The company may use IoT-enabled devices to track sensitive stock, optimize drivers’ routes and safety protocols, automate checkout, keep customers updated on the delivery status of orders, and monitor the temperatures and efficiency of coolers at their stores.
As multiple IoT systems become core to organizations’ logistics, it’s important that these connected platforms work in tandem. But integrating such systems comes with its own set of challenges: In fact, a clear sign that a company is ready to upgrade is when the synthesis of IoT data slows processes down and is no longer sufficient to support long term strategy. At this point companies should consider a single, managed IoT solution.
Products like AT&T Asset Management and Vehicle Solutions may be the answer. Here are a few signals it’s time to upgrade and the solutions to deploy.
Three signs it’s time to consider IoT management
Dedicated IoT management helps midsize businesses to efficiently master transportation planning, cut costs, collect detailed business insights, and track employee productivity. It also helps companies optimize the benefits of their smart systems. These are the signs that you should consider a single solution.
🔍 You’ve recently installed a number of IoT products to manage your supply chain—but individual systems remain siloed.
If you’re relying on multiple vendors for IoT solutions, it can be more difficult for systems to talk to each other, function at peak performance, and provide relevant and actionable insights.
🔍 Multiple sources of data result in increased friction across workstreams.
Your growing organization is producing more IoT-generated data than ever before across functions related to supply chain, product transportation, asset management, and more. But as data streams grow in number and become more complex, they also become more challenging to juggle. Information overlap and inefficiencies can hinder collaboration and cause costly delays.
🔍 Employees use IoT solutions to streamline logistics, but they need to pull data from many different sources in order to collaborate across teams.
Your logistics manager painstakingly tracks the many aspects of inventory piece by piece—from items in stock to order delivery routes. A cloud-based, managed IoT solution ensures that they’re able to give that information to the necessary teams and synthesize data into actionable insights, helping employees work together seamlessly.
Take your IoT efforts to the next stage
Before IoT technology can make a meaningful impact, it first must be holistically integrated into your workflow. IoT systems should be intuitive and accessible. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when upgrading your IoT management solution.
💻 Look for a standardized platform that offers menu-based pricing and user-friendly, cloud-based resources.
A cloud-based, managed solution for IoT-fueled processes like asset tracking provides easy integration across multiple functions and channels. These make it simple to monitor all your IoT-connected items in one centralized hub and pay based on what you need and use.
💻 Give IoT systems sufficient time to prove they work.
IoT-connected systems aren’t always an instant fix—they typically prove their value over time. For example: IoT-enabled route management can help businesses monitor product deliveries, optimizing elements like driver safety, mechanical issues with vehicles, and even digital time-tracking. But the system needs to aggregate several weeks of data to provide actionable insights on how a route may be improved. Ultimately, shaving even seconds off a delivery time can save a business millions in the long run. Leaning into a third-party consultant helps streamline this process and helps ensure visibility into all employee interactions and consumer touchpoints.
💻 Consolidate data into a single source.
Migrating your IoT systems to a single source streamlines data-related processes and eliminates areas of overlap. This can result in easier internal collaboration, as well as more optimized workflow, consistent analysis, asset management, and product deliveries.
IoT is foundational to many midsize companies’ technology stack—and a single, hosted solution can help growing businesses manage their IoT-infused data streams. A knowledgeable consultant takes the pressure off IT teams and improves efficiency. AT&T Business offers Managed Services to assist with holistic IoT integration and training, showing companies how to transform their current systems into a single, hosted solution that employees at all levels can easily navigate.