Using IoT to Run Your Business Safely During the Pandemic

The Internet of Things (IoT) is composed of a network of physical objects that are embedded with sensors, software, and various other technologies to enable the exchange of data with other devices and systems over the Internet.

IoT’s main priority in the past has mainly been for increased efficiency of operation but during the pandemic, the focus has moved to provide safety. A focus on security ensures the well-being of the employees making the company safe for work and thus enhancing production.

Here are some ways to ensure the safety of your employees.

  • Using IoT sensors

Motion sensors are a great way to ensure social distancing as it helps employers to know in real-time the position of each employee and how far or near, they are from their nearest co-worker. Some of the best motion sensors in the market today come equipped with motion sensor history and detect motion within a 40-foot radius or more.

Tests are also ongoing for wearable motion sensors using RFID wristbands which would vibrate when a co-worker approaches. This was recently tested out by Ford. Bluetooth trackers are another great way to safeguard social distancing. Small tags can be attached to ID cards or any other viable alternative and they are then linked to the smartphone which forms a radio-based link.

Airflow meters and thermal imaging cameras can also be used to continually monitor airflow levels in the office and check the body temperature of employees.

  • IoT for remote work

Incorporating IoT-linked devices in the supply chain allows for remote access of information. It enables efficient tracking of deliveries and helps to avoid future miscalculations due to real-time data collection.

Using AI technology such as Intelligent Robotic Sorting and Visual Inspection helps businesses in managing logistics as well as warehouse management in the absence of workers during this pandemic.

Moreover, companies can use AI to boost understanding and productivity by making informed predictions based on the data gathered.

  • Gaining access to IoT

IoT can make life easier for many businesses by providing a cost-effective strategy using biometric access control. The biometric terminals can use RFIDs, passwords, or fake IDs to allow or deny access. These terminals ensure minimal interaction and will reduce errors based on inattentiveness.

A limited number of systems can go even further by enabling employees to book meeting rooms and shared offices in advance thereby further reducing human interaction. Audio-Video intercoms are another useful tool that can be used to grant access and control the number of office employees.

  • AR and VR

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are often confused with each other and most people think they offer the same services. However, AR is a blend of virtual reality and real life in a 1:3 ratio whereas VR is a blend of virtual reality and real life in a 3:1 ratio.

Using AR, engineers and designers create visual representations of projects before the prototype is produced. This helps workers to optimize manual manufacturing and correct defects. MAR (Mixed Augmented Reality) allows digital models to be compared to real images to spot aberrations.

AR and VR are especially using for training new employees with significantly less human interaction than what was first possible. In fact, they are trained 30 to 40% more effectively according to studies. Internal training will also attract potential employees to enter the workforce. This would help address the labor shortage in manufacturing.

  • Using IoT to Achieve customer-centricity

Customer-centricity, simply put, is customer satisfaction. IoT can be greatly leveraged to make the transaction process as smooth as possible. Feedback tools along with metadata can provide an enhanced view of your customer records which can then be used to improve the business and drive product development. This is especially true in the case of SaaS businesses.

The NPS (Net Promoter Score) metric used by numerous businesses provides a metric to collect accurate data to measure customer satisfaction. Being able to measure customer satisfaction online is crucial in helping to understand your customers during the pandemic.

  • Making your business cost-effective with IoT

Using IoT connected devices helps to cut costs in many areas such as inventory management and employee time management. Remotely maintaining records of stock levels helps to reduce the need for in-person assistance. This helps to save on labor costs.

Equipping sensors on products to monitor if anything goes wrong is a great way to generate a continuous revenue stream by charging a small monthly subscription from customers. This works well for products such as payment terminals or vending machines.

  • Using IoT for real-time marketing

Another great way to use IoT is for real-time marketing. This is done by POS (point of sale) notifications, real-time interactions, and fully contextual and targeted ads. Using data gathered by IoT, businesses can use this to their advantage by understanding how customer patterns work and when to market to gain maximum impact.

     IoT Security

So now that you have successfully installed and used IoT to create a better business, it is vital that you know how to use it safely. Here are some ways to ensure IoT security.

  • Create strong passwords and biometrics

A strong password is generally 12 to 14 letters long, contains mixed characters and does not contain your real information such as your name or birth date.

  • Use security apps

Nearly 178 billion apps were downloaded in 2017 and that number is only projected to grow. Apps have become the go-to for any kind of service consumers need. Using high-quality security apps like McAfee antivirus can help protect your digital devices. It helps detect malware, block spoof websites, and protect against ransomware attacks.

  • Install end-to-end encryption across your devices

E2EE is vital for your privacy and security. It keeps data secure on your server and in transit. VPN is used to protect a user’s internet traffic. However, it does not encrypt your local files and the traffic between the VPN server and the site. Using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) is recommended for the average user.

AxCrpyt Premium and Folder Lock are two great products accessible to the general consumer.

  • Update whenever possible

Updates are provided for new features and to fix old problems that have been found by the company. Regularly updating your digital devices helps protect against potential attacks.

Now that you know what IoT is, how to use it, and how to run it safely, go ahead and make sure your business runs at its maximum potential even during a pandemic.

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