According to Gartner, by the year 2020 20.4 billion things in the world will be connected. The number would be thrice as much as the human population is predicted to reach by then! Clearly, the Internet of Things (IIoT) will be changing much more than just the way we use the internet. It will also have an effect on how we live. With its potential to make our lives easier and services more efficient, the Internet of Things is going to bring revolutionary changes. WinSystems predicts that any sectors unable to keep up with this disruption will soon become things of the past.
While it may be true that the Internet of Things will affect every industry, some sectors will be hit the hardest. Below we discuss how those sectors will shift towards added-value services to remain in the running.
The proliferating Internet of Things will create various challenges in the insurance industry. For instance, the recent case of a Danish woman comes to mind. Her insurance claim suggested that due to an injury she was unable to work. Her running app profile though was telling something else. Absence from work had left her with much time to become a regular participant in sporting events. She was more active and physically fit than she claimed to be. Once the information was outed, her insurers cut her payments in half. The question on everybody’s minds was whether the insurance company had the right to use private customer information to arrive at such a decision. What does the Internet of Things mean in the context of our information being shared online? Is it responsible for the way companies will use such information against their customers?
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It isn’t all bad news though since the Internet of Things will also result in many positive changes within the retail industry. If you think online shopping vs. having to take out time to visit a traditional brick-and-mortar store is as good as it will get, think again! E-commerce giants are just getting started, and with the Internet of Things providing them with the technology to keep track of their customers in real time, the sky’s the limit! Details like shopping history about the target demographics have made shopping a much smoother experience for the customer. They will continue to provide us with increasingly more personalized buyer experiences. Positive customer experiences mean a sales boost for the companies as well.
According to MuleSoft, more than half of banking customers have reported having a disconnected consumer experience. Banks still have a long way to go, but IoT technology might speed up the transformation to customer-centric service. On the flip side, let us consider the gaps that arise in security and privacy. A white paper from Infosys mentioned that banks would soon have access to customer information, like their location and any input gained via smart devices. While the financial institutions can use this information to provide better customer service, this also makes a breach of privacy that much more likely. Even so, this Business Insider Intelligence survey showed that 40 percent of millennials who participated in it would prefer using bank cards and forego cash transactions completely! Financial entrepreneurs would soon be clamoring to fill in this gap. The IoT could be the solution to this problem. It could open the way to the next level of services.
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The word smart has come to mean a way of providing more efficient solutions to the consumer. The Internet of Things technology is the breeding ground for government-controlled smart cities. The technology can be adapted and expanded to serve whole communities of people. Case in point is the city of Fujisawa in Japan. Panasonic was at the helm of the development of a city where sensors connected by the Internet of Things now monitor everything within it, from garbage bins to transport automation. Utilities and other core metropolitan services provided by the government could be linked with the help of the Internet of Things. Soon, other governments will embrace the technology and let it control all kinds of city-run business.
As is evident, the Internet of Things will disrupt virtually every industry, if it hasn’t already done so. It will change the way we live, how we interact within communities, and with the outside world. It might have some kinks that will need working out, but in the end, the future it can provide looks customer-centric and efficient.