Your business may not be leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) technology—yet. But chances are, it will be, sooner or later. Intel predicts there will be 200 billion connected objects by 2020, and it’s likely at least one of your company’s “everyday objects” will be connected to the internet, using wireless technology to transmit data you’ll use to make decisions and run a more efficient operation.

If you wear a smartwatch or fitness bracelet to track your steps or use a GPS tracking/telematics device in your vehicle to record your business mileage, you’re already taking advantage of IoT technology. Your device collects data and sends it to a web-based server for storage and analysis; you can log-in to a dashboard or mobile app to view metrics and run reports, even in real-time. In a business context, IoT applications work similarly—although their use cases tend to be far more complex.

Inspiration in the IoT

Explore the various ways IoT technology is already being used in your industry, and consider introducing similar IoT solutions to help you address opportunities and challenges most relevant to your needs.

Financial Services:

  1. Monitoring drivers’ behavioral data via vehicle telematics devices to help calculate car insurance premiums
  2. Offering customers personalized rewards with data collected through payment cards
  3. Enabling customers to make payments with their wearable devices (e.g. smartwatch or mobile phones)
  4. Allowing customers to provide mobile signatures validated with biometric authentication


  1. Tracking inventory and deliveries in real-time using supply chain and asset monitoring devices like smart tags
  2. Staying on top factory machine health using data-backed predictive maintenance insights
  3. Using location-tracking sensors on tools, equipment, and finished goods so they’re never “misplaced”


  1. Installing smart shelves that automatically monitor inventory and alert managers when items are low or about to expire
  2. Leveraging beacon technology to send real-time offers to customers in the coverage area via smartphone push notifications
  3. Using digital screens to broadcast relevant and personalized in-store promotions

Food and Beverage:

  1. Placing sensors in key areas around farm or plant to monitor weather conditions, crop maturity, soil moisture level, presence of insects, and other relevant elements
  2. Providing customers with QR codes on packages connecting them with product details such as its history, ingredients, and allergy information
  3. Maintain product quality by using sensors that monitor product temperature and other safety data points

And In and Around the Office…

  1. Securing property access with locks using and facial recognition and biometrics
  2. Using smart thermostats and smart lighting to keep office comfortable while maximizing resource use

Getting Started with IoT Technology

If you’ve started transitioning to a cloud computing environment—or you’re planning to—you’re becoming aware of the advantages to moving data storage and processing off of in-house servers. Cloud environments tend to offer more robust and secure capabilities, and in many ways, they’re making IoT innovations possible for businesses that traditionally depend on on-premise resources. By hosting IoT data in the cloud, companies are able to amass more data more affordably—and get access to the tools they need to make the most of their data.