We live in a society which is ever more reliant on technology. Since the internet first came onto the scene in the late 1990’s, tech has come to play an ever more important role in how we work and live. This is illustrated by how commonplace smart technology has become for business and how popular the Internet of Things is with companies around the world. You will no doubt have come across the IoT as it has been seen in the mainstream media increasingly over the last few years. A real breakthrough in how we can use the technology in business, it is sure to be something that we see much more of in 2020 and beyond.

You may have heard of the IoT but not actually be sure what it is, how it works and what technology is involved. If that is the case, don’t worry – this article will tell you all you need to know about this next-gen tech innovation.

What exactly is the Internet of Things?

 Many of us will have heard of the Cloud in terms of technology and how this can help businesses work more efficiently. The Cloud operates entirely via the internet and many companies, including the Charles Phillips led Infor Group, develop specific software to help enterprises achieve more by digital means. Top-class ERP software made by Infor is crucial to how the IoT operates for business. It can enable real-world functions to be completed automatically as a result of the data feedback from connected smart devices. The technology allows businesses to take advantage of smart tech to boost productivity and make improvements to how they work. Two sectors that the IoT helps out are manufacturing and retail.

How does it all work in practice?

 Although we have given a brief overview above of how the system works in general, it is also handy to look at the tech behind it in more detail. The key to any Internet of Things network is the smart devices which have been specially designed to connect with others and thus form an IoT network. These devices can absorb what is happening around them and then report this information back in case action is needed. Sensors and digital connectivity in these devices give them the ability to talk with one another and also the digital Cloud. This is achieved via Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity or Satellite technology.

Once relevant data has traveled between devices and into the Cloud, special software such as the type which Infor produces then processes it. When processing this data, the software can then decide if any actions are needed in the real-world as a result of what feeds back from the smart devices. For businesses, this can be something like the settings on a manufacturing machine being adjusted automatically to keep it running well.

What happens if user input is required?

 There is no doubt that IoT technology is very handy for business when it comes to automation and making devices work more intelligently. While some may worry about this hands-off approach to work, the reassuring news is that users can still have their input when needed. IoT user interfaces allow for changes to made manually which are then transferred digitally through the software into the Cloud and then back to the smart devices to make the adjustments. In this way, the IoT offers the best of both worlds – handy automation possibilities but also the ability to still make amendments yourself.

What are the advantages of using an IoT network for business?

 Now we know a little more about the tech behind IoT and what it is, you may wonder what benefits it has for business. We have already mentioned improved productivity and efficiency which are major ones to take advantage of. The tech can also save you money by helping you cut back on waste in your company.

It can also help prevent any downtime by keeping machines working properly and dealing with potential issues before they arise. This helps to keep your operation running and stops you falling behind in terms of deadlines. Of course, automating some business processes through IoT devices can also enable human staff to work on more interesting or important tasks. This will help to keep your workforce happy and help you to retain your most talented employees.

 IoT for business could be big in 2020

 Although this is technology that has been building up nicely for a few years now, the IoT will be seen more in 2020. This will be down to more businesses knowing about it through the media and feeling like it is not only worth using but also trustworthy. It will also represent another step forward for the Cloud in general and how important it has become to our working lives. If you have not thought about using this sort of network in your own business, maybe now is the time to consider it.