As more devices in our lives become Internet-connected, the impact this phenomenon has had on business processes cannot be ignored. The Internet of Things, as it is commonly called, allows companies a clearer picture of business processes than ever before. Not only does the IoT allow businesses to instantly obtain feedback about product use and reliability, it also allows brands to create greater lock-in effects, as consumers learn to customize their products to a level never before possible.
This means that companies are no longer just in the business of creating value ; they’re also in the business of capturing it. As the IoT grows, this new found relationship will become a bigger part of an operation’s business processes.
The most obvious benefit of the IoT is the amazing amount of data that companies can now obtain. In the past, companies often depended upon product returns and customer complaints in order to acquire direct feedback regarding products. This carries with it a certain level of informational bias, as it tended to favor companies only learning about the things that go wrong.
The IoT now allows companies to use advanced BPM software to gather data when products are working as planned. Likewise, with the arrival of Big Data, firms can now compile and analyze this new information quickly. This allows organizations to act in a much more responsive manner toward the needs of the consumer, including learning unique and unexpected things about how users employ products.
With so many products now Internet-connected, companies can provide updates to users much more rapidly. This allows businesses the ability to quickly mitigate problems by sending software updates automatically to devices, and it also permits new functionality to be rolled out. Consequently, the IoT is giving rise to a new revolution in the reliability and functionality of products.
New Relationships with Customers
The relationship between a company and the consumers who use its products is changing fast, thanks to the IoT . Since there is now a stronger understanding among consumers of how software, hardware and Internet connectivity all add up to a specific set of experiences with a product, customers are beginning to see companies and products as part of a single stack. While this can have disastrous consequences for businesses that do a poor job of providing support, it’s an immense opportunity for firms to extend their brands deeper into the minds of customers.
For example, the driver of a modern automobile is no longer just looking at the vehicle as a mysterious collection of parts. Thanks to increased connectivity, the driver can now receive updates regarding maintenance issues and product recalls. This has benefits for everyone involved in the process. The consumer gets to know that the vehicle is going to be better maintained, and the manufacturer can now trust that recall notices are being received. Likewise, the company can collect larger amounts of data regarding the performance of its vehicles. Even the mechanic at a company-authorized garage benefits, thanks to the additional knowledge about what might be wrong with a vehicle and the increased impetus for the driver to seek assistance sooner.
When the IoT is employed properly, it allows a company to study the entire business process in order to create and capture the most value possible. The IoT has the potential to increase customer loyalty, thanks to the lock-in effects of a more fully integrated stack. Additionally, companies can use the IoT not only to improve the reliability of products, but to gather data that can be used to significantly improve each new generation.
With the right software in place, a firm can use the IoT to begin to respond to business process issues almost in real time. Data can now be quickly analyzed, and problems can be readily addressed. Issues that used to take years to solve can now be tackled within a matter of weeks, and companies need to be ready to seize the opportunity and put the Internet of Things to work.