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We live in a world where everyday items—smartphones, automobiles, security systems, wearable devices, etc.—invisibly and seamlessly communicate with each other, sensing and controlling their environment as they stay connected to all of us via the cloud. We call this the Internet of Things (IoT), and within this world comes significant opportunities for business intelligence.
As the IoT grows and becomes more engrained in the way we live, businesses are charged with not only offering more products and services that are enabled through IoT devices, but they must also consider ways to allow customers to communicate and purchase in their preferred manner. In the broadest terms, businesses participate in the IoT in one of two key ways. They either provide a product or service through devices that are connected to the Internet, or they use the Internet to understand customer behaviors, habits, and expectations. Companies that don’t ask, how does the IoT affect us? will be left behind.
Insurance companies are a good example. They have to consider the ways in which the automobiles they insure connect to the Internet. Financial institutions have to think about the future and the ways customers will expect to bank. However, IoT doesn’t just pertain to the companies that are using electronic devices—it impacts the way a business service is enabled via electronic devices. Case in point: utility companies, which have to care about the IoT because thermostats, furnaces, and meters are now connected to the Internet. And don’t forget B2B entities. These companies must consider issues such as the way orders are handled and fulfilled online.
In other words, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that every business in every industry on the planet will be impacted by the IoT.