Have you missed out on the scintillating BMWs of 007 in Die Another Day or The World is not Enough? Well, look again. That is what “Internet of Things” is all about. Not exactly, but almost. Coming closer to home, operating your appliances – your refrigerator, A.C, TV recording or your Micro oven, enroute to home – that is IoT. The microchip in your fractured titanium arm, the prosthetic heart valve, that tells us their health, that is IoT.
IoT is how your physical things are connected to your network. That brings us to the main big question. What is a thing? Coming back to the Bond example, is a car a thing? Is a smartphone in a connected car a thing? If I take my smartphone out of my connected car, is it the same thing or a different thing? Is the braking system within the car a thing? What about the backup camera, the telematics controller and the tire pressure monitoring system? Are they things? Is a car really a thing that is made up of things, each of which may be made up of other things, and on and on? Where exactly are we connected! If you ask me now, I am wound up with visible and invisible wires. But that is being critic. IoT is here to stay, overgrow its biggest challenges of data security and compatibility and supersede the way, we think of Life.
IOT – Is the Future Here?
The intelligent workplace? Is it just a myth? Is it just a fantasy? The buzz says no! It’s a reality! Smartphones, smart watches, smart glasses and just name any device we use daily, are a proof that we are surrounded by data driver intelligent technology that is optimizing almost all spheres or human life these days. Yet a gadget is not the end, but a means to a beginning. The real potential lies in the ecosystem or in technical terms, the invisible spider network. These connected, wirelessly operated smart devices represent the next big leap in human-computer interaction, building what we may call the ‘intelligent workplace’.
A concept that changes our thinking
Think how prominently our smartphone plays a vital role in our average workday. If we call it our portable office, it won’t be an exaggeration. Be it checking mails, sometimes editing documents, monitoring performance, taking status updates, sending out urgent messages, anything and everything that can make our day more productive, it’s right there in our palms. Beyond these basic functions, there are a host of other significant applications that meet our day to day specific professional needs. Smart devices allow us to crowdsource all important information in real-time such as get prompts and directions for your next meeting to receiving a notification when office supplies are running low. Similarly there are lots of things gadgets can do today, but the missing factor is how to bring it all together to one connected loop.
How does it impact us?
Imagine having access to an entire organization for a customer query or giving feedback on a new technical or marketing idea. Imagine what 100 heads working together for a cause can do over just two heads that did it till now. It’s not the Social Media manager who has to answer a question on a Product’s API, she even doesn’t have to run to a domain expert for help, connecting people across the organization can enhance productivity and accuracy like nothing else. Connect the right person, to the right subject at the right time, from anywhere in the world. This is called collective intelligence in play with IOT.
The smart workplace collects and curates data, presenting only the most relevant and actionable information to employees. Smart data empower employees to hone their competitive edge.
Can it make our office?
Imagine you meet a client and all you do it a search for that client name through your intranet and it gets your information from his social accounts on what type of coffee he likes, getting a deal signed will get much simplified. A smart workplace enhances performance and builds metrics that give you a competitive edge. These are just a few examples of how IOT can help business operation more intelligent.
Does it help in employee management?
IoT is about empowering people not gadgets alone. As soon as a person gives his thumbprint on a biometrics, his day is planned ahead with messages and activities prompted to him straight to his phone without him logging into a laptop or desktop. Imagine a phone or watch acting as your personal assistant reminding you of your next meeting, next activity, available resources, information curated for specifically your needs. Wearable technology can further improve collaboration and efficiency.
Getting the best out of infrastructure and resources
Imagine a smart printer that sends your notifications when paper or cartridge is getting depleted, your coffee maker sending out a cry for refill, imagine your housekeeping prompted for sending out coffees to a brainstorming session that has got you all hooked beyond defined time. Similarly IoT can help offices keep a tab on employee’s need and have equipment and supplies ready. The very point of being prepared and proactive action is a part of the whole ecosystem of machines and human beings that affects performance and organizational growth.
So, what now!
As devices continue to connect us, we are becoming part of much more than an office. It’s time to start thinking strategically about how to bring your company and your workplace together for an unprecedented degree of sophistication and intelligence.