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How IoT Is Paving the Way for Startups

Randy RayessRandy Rayess

Over the last few years, Internet of Things has created a major buzz. IoT – the realm that connects the physical and virtual world – has swelled up to engulf all of the technology spanning across the whole world via connected devices. Gartner estimates that there will be 30 billion connected devices in use by 2020.

It has changed the way of networking, analytics and has empowered the small businesses with more opportunities to compete with the industry giants. IoT has brought about numerous changes not only to the connected world of consumers but also how the businesses operate.

This promising venture has investors attracted as it gets bigger and evolves into a necessity. According to Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of research – this growth opens up new business opportunities, as half will be attributed to new startups and 80 percent will be in services, not products. The industries leading the digitalization of everything are manufacturing (15 percent), healthcare (15 percent) and insurance (11 percent).

The Internet of things (IoT) is all set to help the startups to grow at their full potential in various ways:

Reinventing Industries: The Internet of Things will benefit all types of businesses by reinventing industries on three levels:

  1. Business process — Improve the customer experience by digital technology by providing customized services and solutions to customers. Digitalization would allow the businesses to do it better or develop better products within their industry.
  2. Business moment — Defined by Gartner as the need to compete with unprecedented business velocity and agility, companies will need to adapt to the changing landscape of their industries. This will broaden the competition and give startups a chance to emerge and compete with the established giants in the industry while also giving a chance to brand awareness and business quality in a competition to stay relevant.
  3. Business model — More and more industries continue to merge in order to deliver better products and services, despite the segmented sectors. For instance, Nike’s wearable tech and sports gear integrate with health and fitness, and Google’s driverless cars integrate with  the automotive industry.

Real-time Data Generation: With the vast expanse IoT with connected devices, there will be more real-time data than ever before. In an age where real-time data is relevant for planning business strategies, decisions and predictions, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that data is indeed money. With so much real-time data, startups have a golden chance to leverage the power of this data in order to drive the success of their business and evolve their products and services. This data would empower them to compete with the seasoned giants on an equal footing.

Curbing expenses and Increased Mobility: IoT makes it possible for remote teams to work together despite the physical distance. By clocking in via mobile devices the overhead costs of startups will be reduced drastically. IoT is also driving automations. Automatic payrolls softwares can now be used to release payments without physical intervention, thus cutting down on human resources. Similarly online reservations portals have made it easier for the customers to access those facilities while reducing the overall cost burden on the startups and have given them more visibility.

Improved marketing strategies and business transactions: IoT along with Big Data can be a powerful weapon for studying the market trends and coming up with better consumer-targeted strategies. A marketing campaign based on the data derived from this, would be well based in logic and have a higher likelihood of success. IoT has made it possible to cut down on human resources and improve on task efficiency through automation, plastic money, flexible digital platform like mobile phones, making it easier to reachout to their customers and get discovered, thereby improving sales.

Improved Tracking Procedures and Security: For logistics startups, sensor tracking of their shipment can be a major factor in improving overall efficiency. This will also help in troubleshooting roadblocks and cut on the overhead costs with better performance. This also allows for better monitoring thus ensuring security and asset management through reliable basic networking.

Automatic Inventory Management: Physical inventories can be better managed by using sensors in warehouses. These sensors will be able to monitor the temperature and other conditions and also track the availability of stock. Automatic restocking alerts can ensure that the business never runs out of that products and also track the performance of other goods simultaneously.

The introduction of IoT has opened a door of never-thought-of-before opportunities for the startups. It has brought many technologies, deemed unaffordable before, right at their doorstep. If used correctly, it has the potential of changing the startup scene and improving the business by leaps and bounds. It has empowered the startups by reducing costs and improving their business process and models thereby increasing efficiency and visibility.

CoFounder at VenturePact Passionate about software, marketplace startups & remote work. Previously at SilverLake Partners, Ampush and Wharton.