While the Internet of Things – IoT – does tend to dominate the conversation in tech spaces, it is not the endpoint for this kind of investment. Rather, it should be seen as the foundation. The Internet of Things means deploying a large fleet of Internet-connected devices, which can do everything from monitoring anything that can have a sensor attached to it to controlling air conditioning, lighting, and even robots.
IoT is powerful because it can be tailored to the unique needs of every organisation. And it’s highly accessible. All you really need is a good and scalable Internet infrastructure and the capacity to begin to invest in sensors and IoT-connected devices. Small businesses and enterprises alike can benefit from IoT investment with relatively minimal requirements in terms of skills and IT investment.
But that’s only stage one. For IoT to truly demonstrate its value, organisations need to move to the Internet of Behavors, or IoB.
What is the Internet of Behaviors
IoB is relatively straightforward as a concept. With the IoT, organisations are collecting a lot of data. Each sensor that is connected to and interacting with the network is sharing information, and that data becomes the resource that IoB works off.
Say, for example, you’re running a retail outlet. It has a full IoT suite integrated, with security cameras monitoring for suspicious behaviour, sensors in the warehouse keeping an eye on inventory, and customer loyalty card systems collecting data on each purchase each individual makes.
IoB is when you use that information to generate insights about the store and customer shopping behaviour. In this store example, you know the parts of the store that are most well-travelled because the camera has kept data on consumer movements. Meanwhile, you know what products are popular from a combination of the warehouse sensors and the loyalty card. You then then arrange the store to make sure the most popular products are seen by even more people.
How does IoB benefit businesses?
The above example is a good one with regard to the benefits that IoB returns to businesses. The data collected can be used for optimisations that improve the profitability of the organisation. Another example of IoB at work, outside of retail, might be fleet management.
Did you know that excessive, hard breaking and taking corners too quickly can actually result in excessive fuel burn? With petrol prices the way they are now, fleet managers need to ensure that drivers are operating with maximum efficiency. IoT sensors on vehicles can actually feed driver behaviour data back in real time, so feedback can be given instantly and the fleet can reduce the fuel burden.
Really, when you get going with IoB, the sky’s the limit, and the ways that you’ll use it will depend on your business and sector. Some of the most common use cases, however, include:
1) Improving SEO.
One of the headaches that companies always have is how to get their website out there and easy to find. This relies on SEO – using the right keywords on the website so that Google and other search engines know the site is relevant when someone uses that keyword.
The more you understand your customers and the way they interact with the company, the more the keywords are going to start to stand out. Then you can adjust your website content in-kind.
2) Personalised advertising.
The more you “know” about a customer, the more targeted you can be in advertising to them. For one good example,Directorix Barista is a software solution that was designed to combine AI with the data gathered across a lot of customers. When a customer enters a coffee using this software, cameras run a facial scan of the customer and, through that, AI determines the person’s approximate age, their gender, and so on. Using that information the software can then make recommendations for drinks with a level of accuracy that surprises many.
Businesses that invest in IoB to deliver targeted offers and product to their customers are going to see far better conversions and more money spent per customer.
3) Assistance with product development.
The more information you have on lifestyles and customer behaviour, the better you’ll be equipped to understand what’s in demand and what is motivating customers. That information can be used to develop new products and services that will be highly in demand.
As the popular saying goes, data is the lifeblood of the modern organisation. How an organisation collects data, and the quality of it, can be instrumental to the health of the business. The main reason that IoB is such a rapidly growing concept is that the quality of the data that it is analysing can be excellent. As long as the organisation has set up its IoT environment correctly, and focused it on collecting the right data sets, the analysis offered by the IoB applications can give you the deepest and most powerful insights into your business possible.