Insight/Connectivity

Why SMEs need to get ready for Internet of Things

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Are you ready for the IoT?

The Internet of Things – the seamless interaction of everyday objects around us using embedded technology – has gradually crept into our personal lives over the last few years.

Now the IoT lets us do things at the swipe of a screen or the sound of our voice that would’ve been unimaginable just a decade ago. From asking Alexa to turn off the bedroom light, to flicking the heating up a few notches on the Hive app, there are countless ways we’re now connected to inanimate items in our homes.

But while it won’t be long before our fridge is texting us to tell us we’ve run out of milk, developments are also coming along fast in the business world – and 60% agree that companies that are slow to integrate the IoT will fall behind their competition.

It’s not too tough to gather data using “things” when you’ve got the time, the money and the people to develop solutions yourself. But what if you’re a small business without those luxuries, yet with the drive to get ahead? Well, it’s not just the big players who are strapping sensors on stuff.

Ben Hayes, chief marketing officer at Startupbootcamp IoT, an accelerator for start-ups in this space, said: “In 2018, small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to access IoT technology more than ever before, thanks to the decreased cost of sensors and software platforms.” And using these ready-made tools seems to be the way most SMEs are going.

44% of smaller businesses are innovating with the IoT by purchasing services and products from a full-service provider that offers ready-to-use solutions. 59% say the main reason they’ve partnered, instead of gone it alone, is to accelerate time to market… and it makes sense.

An Analysys Mason survey of businesses in eight countries, including the UK, shows that 51% of SMEs were either unsure or unaware of the IoT, while 23% were not interested in it at all, and only 12% claimed to have some sort of IoT solution. But this gives you the chance to get in there and get ahead…

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