There is a lot of buzz at the moment around IOT, or the ‘Internet of Things’.
It is based around a vision of the future where our whole lives are connected through the internet. Data embedded in the software and electronics that we use is shared and connected to other devices so we are always connected to everything around us.
What Is IoT?
You walk past a coffee shop, your phone pings and lets you know there’s a discount offer on your favourite beverage. You’re at work, your washing at home is finished, your phone sends you an alert and, remotely, you can turn the dryer on. You’ve had a day stuck at your desk, your wearable fitness monitor realises you haven’t done enough steps so connects with your gym and books you into a fitness class that evening. The appointment pops up on your calendar and you’re good to go. The convenience and marketing benefits of this type of ‘connected’ world are obvious. But how will the internet of things affect the way we trade? And how will it change our use of traditional business software?
The seeds are already being sewn for a more intelligent way of shopping. By tracking mobile phones, shops, in the IoT future, will be able to monitor an individual’s purchasing habits. This information can be used to alert them of special offers on products they like. Taking this even further, phones could even let shoppers know what they are running out of by connecting to data from that person’s smart fridge. Data is key to the execution of this type of ‘smart shopping’. By recording and acting on accurate data a shop is able to recommend items that it knows a consumer will like. Targeted marketing at it’s very best.
IoT and the Future of ERP Solutions
But can this be translated to a more industrial environment? If we step away from thinking about an individual’s connectivity and instead think about connecting all the processes and systems within a business, we can start to see the potential IoT holds for any company. Take manufacturing for example, by monitoring demand you can identify patterns when orders peak e.g. ice cream sales when it is sunny. You connect your systems to a weather forecast, your software automatically orders in more raw materials when sunny weather is forecasted and your machines automatically produce more stock. This all happens seamlessly, quickly and without any human input, all by being connected to the internet world.
Some software systems, such as Sage X3, are already moving towards this vision of ‘smart industry’ by integrating all data and processes into one system. What the vision of the future with IoT is doing is taking this one step further. By linking to other traceable data such as the weather, how often people go to the gym, the peak time everyone makes a cup of tea and highlighting how this data could be having some effect on your business. By tracing and analysing this data companies can take advantages of common trends they may have previously had no idea were linked to their industry. In a world where your company is always ‘connected’ to this larger data you are always ready to exploit a sudden peak in demand and therefore maximise your profits.
Sage X3 and IoT
The way IoT is changing business software is the need for a system to be able to cope with this large volume of data. And when I say big, we’re talking BIG data. By having the ability to process and analyse this data companies are able to offer their customers better services, and therefore grow their business in perhaps unforeseen new directions. Sage X3 is a scalable solution that is ready for an IoT world. It can handle a huge volume of data, predict future trends in order for you to make the most of peaks in demand and highlight profitable areas that should be promoted further.
It may not be able to predict the weather just yet, but it’s getting pretty close.
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