In the coming months, it’s highly likely that you’ll hear a lot about the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) or ‘Internet of Everything’ (IoE), very vague sounding turns of phrase that you may think are strictly reserved for Star Trek nerds, technophiles and geeks.
The potential for the Internet of Things is so huge, however, that it may be about to make the inventions of the wheel, sliced bread and even its own Father, the Internet, look like trivial steps in mankind’s journey into the future, and, more importantly, change the way you order pizza forever.
Early reports suggested that anywhere between 26 and 30 billion devices would be connected to the Internet of Things by the year 2020 and that the market may be worth a measly $19 trillion.
It’s no surprise then that the British government has already invested £45 million into the first IoT projects, while tech giants including Cisco and Google are already working on 5G Internet – due to arrive in 2020 – to power the IoT.
Enough jibber-jabber- what is The Internet of Things?
It’s the idea that the Internet will connect with the real world more and more in the near future, with many normal devices, appliances, and maybe even beings (cue Orwellian conspiracy theories) connected to the web.
This will in turn allow for smarter devices, smarter purchases and smarter overall living.
Take for example an IoT-connected ‘smart refrigerator’. It will be able to read data chips (which will be in all of your food’s packaging), allowing it to tell you when key products like milk are almost out of date or when your eggs are running low in supply, and, if desired, order new products for you as and when you need them from the cheapest vendor.
You’ll even be able to see what’s in your fridge from your work desk via an app, and in turn know whether you need to pick anything up from the shops on the way home.
What’s this got to do with pizza?
Mind not blown yet? Let’s take this a step further: imagine the potential for Google maps.
If everything is connected via the Internet of Things, you’ll be able to find out anything from “Where are my keys?” and “Is my cat nearby?” to – and here’s my favorite part – “How far away is the pizza I’ve just ordered and what’s its current temperature?”
You might even be able to set your IoT-connected oven to pre-warm your plates when the pizza is X minutes away.
On the flip-side of the coin, you’ll be able to monitor your health.
‘Smart shoes’ could tell you how far you’ve walked and how many calories you’ve burned off today. You could set weight-loss targets in an app which links to your smart shoes, which in turn tells you when you’ve hit your daily targets.
Pacemakers and heart monitors could be connected to the IoT too, allowing your elderly family members’ doctors to monitor their heart rate from miles away, predict potential threats to your health or even call you an ambulance if something goes wrong.
Cool. But what’s this got to do with Business Intelligence?
The IoT may sound like a new concept, but in essence, all of this is exactly what Business Intelligence (BI) software has been doing for quite a while.
For simplicity here, I’ll stick with the example of the smart refrigerator, which will track patterns in your purchases to tell you when you need to buy more.
For year, Business Intelligence systems have been able to track your customer’s buying patterns, letting you know what they’ll need to repurchase and when they’ll need to repurchase it.
It’s also likely that retailers will use your fridge’s data in the future to up-sell and cross-sell to you, citing your purchases of Tabasco sauce and chicken pizza last month as reason for you to be interested in a spicy Mexican chicken pizza and maybe some beers to partner this month.
BI does exactly the same for your business, showing you what your customers aren’t buying from you that they could (and probably should) be.
Just as excited as I am to see where the IoT will take our quality and style of life in the coming years, any businessman or woman worth their salt should be excited about what BI can do for their profits and sales teams now.
The future of ordering pizza may be just around the corner, but the future of sales is already here.
Book a free online demo today to see how sales-i can take your sales team to the next level.