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The future of the Internet of Things: 10 points every business owner should consider

Harnessing the IoT's power should be top of mind for every tech-forward business owner. Here's how to keep your company relevant in the face of another technological revolution.

The future of the Internet of Things (IoT) is nearly here. According to IDC, global spending on IoT is projected to reach $745 billion in 2019, an increase of over 15 percent from 2018. Harnessing IoT's considerable power should be top of mind for every tech-forward business owner.

If you want to keep your company relevant in the face of another technological revolution, here are ten points to consider:

IoT isn't a rigid solution: Just because your business doesn't have the budget for the same IoT strategy as an enterprise The future of IoT_Blog_1056112217.jpgdoesn't mean there isn't a use case that would apply to your organization. Creatively applied, IoT can be used to improve any aspect of a business's systems and infrastructure. Data can be a source of endless insight if put in the right hands, and IoT's potential as a collection tool for data is limitless.

Premade solutions will (and do) exist: You can hire people to design custom solutions, but out-of-the-box solutions are also available. These solutions range from smart lighting and recording to more open-ended smart beacons with built-in accelerometers and temperature systems.

Embracing IoT will require an investment in infrastructure: With a hugely expanded number of connected devices on the horizon, experts point to network capacity as the first potential hurdle many businesses will face. Ask your IT manager about the implications of tripling or quadrupling the number of devices on your company's network, and go from there.

Prepare for an influx of data: Your new devices will generate a lot of data, and that data needs to be housed. You'll want to find a scalable storage solution before you need more space. While adding more hardware to your existing infrastructure is always an option, advancements like software-defined storage allow you to make better use of existing resources.

Prepare to analyze that data: Collecting data is just part of the process. To make the most of what you're generating, you need tools to glean insights from that data. If the proper technology doesn't yet exist in your industry, it will soon, and custom-made solutions will require little more than a creative approach combined with working knowledge of statistics and coding.

Every business can benefit from IoT: The IoT use cases that get the most press are generally in manufacturing, where IoT technology is used to improve safety and efficiency, or in logistics in the form of GPS trackers and self-driving vehicles. But the applications of IoT don't stop there. Other companies use connected devices for security monitoring, smart lighting, and thermostat management. Even voice assistants can find a place in the business. There's an IoT application out there for every organization, regardless of size or industry.

Capitalize on the second-mover advantage: You don't have to innovate to harness the future of IoT. Watching bigger players in your industry experiment lets you learn by proxy and also gives you time to see how industry-specific, out-of-the-box solutions fare in real-world situations.

It's not a gimmick or a fad: IoT will revolutionize business at all levels in real, concrete ways. The term itself has become a bit of a buzzword, but the huge explosion of connected devices reporting over company networks is a reality on an unbelievably broad scale.

It can improve both sides of the counter: The IoT's limitless potential means both front- and back-end operations can improve with IoT implementation. In a perfect world, what business pain points would you address first? Chances are, there's an IoT application for that.

The future of IoT will come incrementally: While useful IoT tools are available to businesses now, IoT hasn't yet reached peak potential. Upcoming technologies like 5G networking will only increase the number of devices and tools at your disposal. In other words, don't paint yourself into a corner. The best is yet to come.

The Internet of Things has a bright, blooming future ahead of it, and it's time to focus on developing your business's systems and infrastructure to handle that future. Harnessing this new technology will enable your business to bloom, too.

Looking for the latest information on technologies that are transforming small businesses? Look no further than Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Worldwide SMB 2019 Predictions

Ready to take the next step? Check out the SMB Hybrid IT for Dummies Guide. Because there are no "dumb" questions!

Or are you ready to purchase? Visit the HPE Store.

Robert Checketts
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author


Robert has over 25+ years of IT Marketing and Product Management leadership experience spanning country, Regional and WW organizations. Robert is a marketing executive with extensive experience in field marketing, channel marketing and product marketing on a global basis and is driven to deliver SMB’s end-to-end affordable infrastructure that’s secure from the start, optimized for every workload, packaged for many consumption models, ready to scale, and easy to manage.