What does the phrase “Internet of Things” (IoT) mean? It means, quite literally, the connecting of things – anything from light bulbs to cars – to the internet. It’s already making its way into our homes. Amazon Echo, for example, allows you to order an Uber while checking the weather, all by voice command.
We’re also starting to see a range of industries experiment, use and adopt IoT, from the insurance market – in which companies can monitor customers’ homes to try to avoid costly claims – to energy suppliers, which try to detect leaking water pipes in homes.
With little free time, and heavy work loads, most small businesses are not prioritising IoT over the day-to-day running of the company. But there are potential revenue-making and cost-saving benefits that IoT can deliver.
As someone helping to drive IoT innovation in the UK (and having previously led Telefonica’s UK IoT business development unit), I’m very passionate about its potential. Here are some trends that I think illustrate how it could change the way SMEs do business.