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It’s being called the Internet of Things. Billions of sensor-connected objects and the networks that power them are growing by leaps and bounds.

No matter what industry you operate in, this technology will change the way you do business in the very near future or you will be left behind by your competitors. According to ABI Research there are more than 10 billion wirelessly-connected devices in the market today; with over 30 billion expected by 2020. The wide array of solutions coming online include game-changing efforts in personal electronics, smart appliances, public and private utilities, health care devices, vehicles, and construction equipment, just to name a few.  

Cisco CEO John Chambers predicts the Internet of Things will create an economic impact of roughly $19 trillion dollars by 2020 that spans both the private and public sectors. This vision of a multi-trillion dollar market opportunity is supported by research conducted by Microsoft, McKinsey, Gartner, and many others.

So what does this mean for you? How will the Internet of Things impact the way you do business? How can you participate and gain from this multi-trillion dollar market opportunity? The answers depend on your industry, but irrespective of the market, change is coming, and it’s being driven by the IoT. Here are some things to consider as you get started.

Increase Competitive Advantages   

Regardless of your industry, data generated by connected devices on the IoT will deliver new customer insights and has the potential to transform your business in a myriad of ways. Whether streamlining the delivery of products or services, improving the efficiency of product research and development, or the optimization of the deployment of resources, data generated by connected devices enables you to compete like never before possible. A comprehensive Internet of Things strategy can transform the way you do business and outpace the competition before they even get started.

Leverage Existing Technology Assets

Even while you develop a long-term IoT strategy and roadmap, you can get value from the Internet of Things right now! Start with your existing information technology investments and build upon them. Add a few new devices, connect them to the cloud, and enable them to “talk” to each other, providing data to your employees, partners, and customers. To collect and analyze the data you can implement a more comprehensive “big data” strategy or simply leverage low-cost software-as-a-service business intelligence tools and develop deep insights into how to deliver more value to all of your key stakeholders and customers.

Fuel Innovation to Create New Opportunities

Go beyond your information technology infrastructure and think about how you interact with customers, suppliers, and partners. Start experimenting with how connected devices and objects can transform those relationships. Integrate sensors on shopping carts and Internet-connected displays to provide customers with real-time offers as they navigate their way through grocery stores. Provide amusement park visitors with sensor-enabled bracelets to track interactions. Give floor sales staff access to handheld devices that connect to your inventory system and provide real-time access to inventory levels and location information to boost sales and improve customer service.  

There is no denying that the Internet of Things will change the competitive landscape in the industry you compete in. The difference between leaders and laggards in the IoT empowered economy will be vision. If you want to lead tomorrow you need to innovate today. Real innovation is a product of constant experimentation and recent changes in technology make experimentation easier and more cost efficient than you might believe.

First Line Software has experience working with market-leading companies on the development of wearable technologies, sensor-based devices, and big data strategies to create value from the data generated by connected devices.

Sign up for this free Internet of Things webinar on July 30 to learn more about creating a IoT roadmap and getting started experimenting today!

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