IoT Applications: 7 Remarkable Uses Cases In Different Industries

The Many Functions Of IoT In The Enterprise

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Steven Lerner

Although the Internet of Things (IoT) is not a new concept, it has in recent years driven many IT trends in the enterprise. There are numerous IoT applications that can be leveraged by businesses. Looking at the IoT definition to understanding the meaning about it, we can see that a network of connected physical devices can be really beneficial.

The market value of this solution is projected to reach $457 billion in 2020, and it might seem like some enterprises are being forced into adopting it. Although there are some IoT device security concerns, IoT is being embraced by companies across several industries. Here are seven use cases of IoT within different sectors.

1. Healthcare

In the healthcare sector, the possibilities with IoT are endless. The use of IoT-enabled medical devices has already taken the industry by storm. Although there are some security risks with these devices, the benefits outweigh them. IoT is also a major component behind the rise of telemedicine (or telehealth), in which medical professionals can stay in contact and monitor long distance patients. In addition, hospitals are leveraging this technology to track patients and staff, and the technology is being used to reduce wait times in the emergency room.

2. Restaurants

Just as IoT has practical applications in a home kitchen, there also uses that can be leveraged in a commercial kitchen and on the front end of restaurants. The restaurant industry is using IoT to streamline communication, lower costs, and improve worker safety. Display systems can replace receipt printers, which eliminates some lag time. Smart refrigerators monitor when foods spoil, and smart ovens can determine when parts need to be replaced before they break.

3. Education

Educational institutions stand to benefit from numerous IoT applications. Schools are harnessing IoT to enhance more interactive web-based learning capabilities so that students can go beyond just what’s in the textbook. Educators are using this technology to store vital records, such as grades and attendance, which reduces the time it takes to find that data. More importantly, it is being used for additional school security, with IoT-enabled communication systems that warn students about potential emergencies.

4. Financial Services

Despite regulatory compliances in the sector, the financial services industry appears to be embracing IoT. A 2018 report from predicted that IoT in financial services will be valued at over $2 billion by 2023, and there are current use cases that are making its away around the industry. Insurance companies are using telematics to foresee and calculate potential hazards that might lead to a claim from a customer. Banks are experimenting with IoT-enabled security systems, including in ATMs, to prevent theft. The technology can also be leveraged to gather additional data about customers, providing more personalized offers.

5. Energy

Although it is well-documented that machine-to-machine communication can lower household energy costs, it can also redefine the entire energy sector. Instead of relying on legacy equipment, energy companies are leveraging smart grids that can improve security, capture data/analytics, and allow for quicker restoration after power failures. Additionally, a smart grid could lower our carbon footprint by managing energy consumption, and it could diminish the use of carbon emissions.

6. Retail

IoT is transforming the way the retail market operates. In the front of the store, there are new automated checkout capabilities for customers. This solution decreases the time that workers would have spent as a cashier, and instead allows them to focus on business needs and opportunities. There are also IoT applications in the back half of the store. Smart shelves track products to see which items the store is running low on, and determines if an item has been misplaced. The technology also improves security by reducing potential theft. Thanks to IoT, workers in retail are more productive and stores are reducing some labor costs.

7. IoT Applications In Manufacturing

Out of all of the industries that are embracing IoT applications, manufacturing might potentially serve as one of the best examples. Manufacturers are currently using IoT to monitor production flow during the entire process. With this solution, manufacturers have been able to track all of the events across a supply chain. Inventory is being traced down to each individual component, and that data collected from IoT devices allows manufacturers to gage the quality of each item. The technology can also help with aspects such as packaging and improving worker safety.

These use cases are just a sample of the numerous IoT applications across these industries. As time goes go, there will be more examples of machine-to-machine success stories in other sectors. For further details about IoT use cases, read our exclusive report — Enterprise Evolution: How Digital Transformation Is Shaping Business.