The Internet of Things (IoT) makes it possible for enterprises to automate monitoring of inventory in a warehouse or blood pressure of a patient in a hospital room, and then organize that data into meaningful resources. The potential for IoT is limitless, because virtually any device that can be equipped with a sensor can be improved with the technology.
Organizations wanting to implement a fleet of IoT devices may have met challenges in the past related to cost or the threat of vendor lock-in. As the technology becomes commoditized, these threats recede. Instead, new potential problems emerge, such as the spiraling effect that can happen as departments begin implementing IoT devices without the involvement of IT, or the flood of data that can overwhelm an IT team trying to manage already-overloaded data storage servers.
IoT in an office setting: IoT has many applications in industrial settings, such as taking regular readings on a bulk storage tank or recording efficiency metrics on an assembly line. The technology also applies to office settings, where it can be used to recognize where employees are and then set up a workstation to their exact needs as they move around in a building.
For instance, consider an employee that has a day scheduled with meetings. As they travel to each conference room setting or into a small break room for a one-on-one meeting, the room recognizes where they are and immediately connects their devices with the slideshow being presented or to a document that’s under review. It may save only two or three minutes at each meeting, but those minutes add up across a day and across an organization of employees.
The role of biometrics: Smartphones have long been using fingerprints to identify a user, but this technology is just the beginning of what can be done in the workplace. An employee’s voice can be identified to determine whether they are authorized to be on a conference call or to access a group voicemail. In addition, webcams can be used to identify participants in a conference room, so that if a sensitive document is about to be reviewed, the presenter can be alerted if there are any persons present that may not be cleared for the disclosure.
The challenge to IT: In a period of slow economic growth, IT is looking for cost savings. While IoT often provides significant opportunity for the organization to save resources, it may prove costly to IT in terms of data storage and management, as well as the potential for rogue deployment of devices. It is critical for IT to develop standard IoT policy for implementation and work with providers that can assist with data storage solutions if necessary. Many enterprises may want to consider multi-vendor solutions or customizable interfaces to create solutions that are tailored to their exact needs.
To learn more about specific IoT solutions and how they operate in an office setting, contact us at One Connect. We can help eliminate the potential chaos of launching a fleet of IoT devices and instead leverage the right technology to reduce costs and improve business processes.