IoT to P&P: Understanding Top 2016 Trends

Chelsea Kaefer on January 13, 2016

For those of you who aren’t sure what IoT is, here’s one of my favourite explanations: “the Internet of Things (IoT) revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication; it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors; it’s mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection; and they say it’s going to make everything in our lives from streetlights to seaports “smart” (WIRED).

IoT has opened many doors for businesses and consumers alike, and its buzz doesn’t seem to be going away. Industry analyst, Gartner, predicts that by 2020, 25 billion “things” (devices, sensors, etc.) will be connected to the IoT and generating an unprecedented volume of data.

If you were at Customer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 last week, then you’re up to speed on all the gadgets that are flooding the market this year, collecting data and making life easier; drones, high-tech cameras, wearables, 3D printing, smart phones, home sensors, parking meters, and other devices. But how do we take the traction, that these devices are seeing, one step further? How do we make the most of connected devices for our customers’ benefit?

Whether you’re a professional working in retail, insurance, or finance, the answer is data. I’m not talking about more big data - I’m talking about permissions and preference data.

As you know, devices connected to IoT are collecting massive amounts of information that can be analyzed, digested, and understood – revolutionizing the future of business. But in your journey to technological advancement and optimization, it’s important to remember that IoT still needs human management and insight.

As Stephen Hoover, CEO of Xerox says, “IoT success depends on humans being able to team with systems… Yes, computers can now beat human players at chess, but these machines still need to have humans behind them as well” (Forbes).

Simply use experts to decipher data generated through IoT, and use customer-centric minds to put that data to use in a way that works for your customers - each and every one of them. If you know that Customer X only communicates via SMS, then you know you should be sending her SMS. If Customer Y prefers phone, then you’ll be making sure to give him a call rather than sending an email or direct mail.

This applies to many use cases. Say, for example, you’re an Insurance Carrier who collects information from home sensors. What’s stopping you from being to proactively communicate to your insured that you detected an issue from their home sensor and that you’ve alerted their preferred vendor to check it out? That’s just one example of how you can use IoT and permissions to make life better for you and your customers.

With the ability of systems to communicate automated and personalized messaging from multiple data sources, the possibilities are endless. And not believe it or not, affordable. Of all the buzz words and trends taking place right now, IoT and permissions & preferences is probably the most important to take note of. Don’t fall behind the curve; explore what big and small data can do for you!

How are you listening to your customer’s voice and making sure that you understand what they want?