The Internet of Things (IoT) is a “system of systems” in which people, machines, devices, sensors, and businesses connect and interact. The merger of the physical world with digital networks and applications creates new modes of collaboration, intelligence sharing and business efficiency.
Where will this be the most apparent? The workplace. Based on an IDC study of 2,300 executives in 15 countries, 48% of those surveyed have already deployed IoT solutions, and 58% said IoT is integral to their business strategy.
Applications abound in workplace safety, employee productivity, asset management and building comfort. By thinking strategically about how to make the workplace more intelligent, companies leverage their greatest assets – their employees – to work smarter and be more productive.
The meaning of “workplace” is changing as emerging, and connected technologies redefine what is possible. With 50 of the largest UK employers saying they do not plan to return staff to their offices full time in the near future, remote working will no longer be seen as a temporary solution.
Tech companies have been at the forefront of this change and are well-positioned for it. However, the traditional industries, which until now required employees to work on-premise and interact with other employees, machinery, and vehicles in person, realise that 5G-enabled IoT devices enable them to accelerate their digital transformation post-COVID-19.
Using IoT, governments and large enterprises can now move beyond requiring on-premise work to enable productive and safe remote working. For example, an IoT-powered sensor can allow power plant staff to respond to and troubleshoot issues remotely, which increases cost and time efficiency.
At the same time, with the new ‘work from anywhere’ model, the workforce expects more from their office. Forget size and location; buildings must become connected and smarter. Tenants today are looking for increased smart solutions with their office, and interconnected systems such as apps that can control lighting, heating and air conditioning are set to grow in popularity as office spaces are used more flexibly.
Connectivity with artificial intelligence and advanced analytics can change the workplace by increasing efficiency and productivity and creating an environment that fosters greater workplace collaboration.
The purpose of technology has always been to improve how we work and live. With IoT devices becoming more mainstream and delivering tangible benefits for users, businesses can only benefit from utilising them. As the future becomes increasingly digital, organisations that implement IoT solutions are more likely to get an edge over their competitors.
Beyond where we work, IoT has also been a key pillar in improving the cities we live in. Find out more about IoT’s role in smart cities and how they are developing in our next blog.