Internet of Things Will Change the Way We Work: 10 Reasons Why

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2013-10-01 Print this article Print

The worldwide Web is being rebuilt 20 years after modern browsers such as Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer allowed millions of people to start Web surfing. Many IT companies have been investing substantial resources into connecting people to devices, devices to devices, and systems to systems. Thus, the so-called Internet of Things is already here, to a limited extent. Researchers at IDC estimate that in 2020 there will be 26 times more connected things than people. Earlier this year, Wikibon forecast that, by 2020, $154 billion will be spent on a business version of the IoT called the "Industrial Internet." Today, IoT affects our day-to-day work in terms of how we interact with things around us. In the future, we can expect IoT to generate entirely new job roles and titles and to modify the way we commute, communicate and collaborate. In this slide show, eWEEK and Puneet Pandit, CEO and founder of Glassbeam, a cloud-based analytics provider, describe how the IoT will continue to affect the future of work by blurring the lines of communication between humans and machines.

  • Internet of Things Will Change the Way We Work: 10 Reasons Why

    by Chris Preimesberger
    1 - Internet of Things Will Change the Way We Work: 10 Reasons Why
  • More Efficient Commutes on the Way

    About 15 percent of commute time is spent in traffic, and about 17 percent of fuel is wasted in cities by drivers sitting at red lights. Sensors on our roads, traffic video cameras and median dividers will affect how our vehicles will "talk" to drivers. By monitoring traffic speed, stoplights, accidents and current road conditions, programmable cars and even roads will push the most efficient routes to drivers' mobile devices, cutting down commute time, saving gas money and making our roads safer.
    2 - More Efficient Commutes on the Way
  • Predicting Product Health

    After a product is shipped, the interaction between the buyer and the vendor usually subsides, at least until the next buying period or a problem arises. Proactive technology can monitor the "health" of products to pinpoint issues before they arise. In this era of next-generation customer service, proactive product monitoring means a company can keep customers happy, watch product health around the clock and avoid problems.
    3 - Predicting Product Health
  • New Job Roles

    The digital age has ushered in new IT jobs. With the rise of IoT, cloud and big data-related jobs are becoming more specialized. Gartner last year reported that the number of chief digital officers (CDOs) is on the rise, predicting that by 2015, 25 percent of companies will have such a specialist managing their digital goals. The data scientist also has become an important asset for companies. By embracing the value of big data and analytics, we'll begin to see more chief data scientists, analysts and even chief customer-satisfaction officers. There will be some new jobs we can't even imagine yet.
    4 - New Job Roles
  • Productivity at Work

    The rise of social media has given way to a new age of communications and team collaboration. Valuable tools from the likes of Box, Skype, Jive and Facebook have captured the attention of the next-generation workforce. Video collaboration and imaging will take hold as millennials and digital natives rely on text messaging, FaceTime and Google Hangouts for true integrative communication at work, saving time and blurring social tools with modern collaborative work systems.
    5 - Productivity at Work
  • Giving Structure to Unstructured Data

    Big data isn't just big—it's huge. If used well, big data can create new value across the business when unstructured data is converted into structured data. Analyzing data and breaking it down into meaningful intelligence and analytics can tell a richer story about customers, product behavior, market position, employee productivity and more.
    6 - Giving Structure to Unstructured Data
  • Greener Enterprises

    Sensory meters have already been operating in a small number of office buildings and homes today, but going forward, this will become a necessity in building standards for modern building infrastructures. Installed movement sensors can turn off or on lighting fixtures, heaters/air conditioning, coffee machines and televisions as people move throughout the room or head home. These sensors are already integrated into blinds, using temperature and sunlight to determine how far they open and close, which can improve energy efficiency, save money and help the environment.
    7 - Greener Enterprises
  • Location, Location, Location

    IoT will make location tracking simpler. Currently done via phones, cars and even in hospitals, Internet-connected equipment and devices will be geographically tagged, saving valuable resources. Companies will be able to track every aspect of their business quickly, from inventory to order fulfillment, to locating and deploying field services and staff. Tools, factories and vehicles will all be connected by location-based technology, making the entire chain ever more efficient.
    8 - Location, Location, Location
  • Smarter Water Cooler Chat

    Even water coolers can be connected in IoT, making a trip to the water cooler a better use of time. For example, the water cooler (or coffee machine, snack bar and so on) will be intelligent enough to remember personal preferences, be voice- and motion-activated, and even deliver drinks on demand without a wait.
    9 - Smarter Water Cooler Chat
  • Doctors at Work

    The IoT is changing the way doctors work, the patient experience and the overall doctor-patient relationship. Today, a patient's condition must still be assessed live in the presence of the doctor, face-to-face. In the future, IoT will enable devices to read data directly from a person's body, enabling doctors to access real-time patient data remotely. Palo Alto Research Center, for example, is far along in developing a product in this realm. New IT also means a doctor can meet with a patient from any place in the world. This will fundamentally change how health care services are delivered (including in remote parts of the world), move health care from reactive to proactive treatment, and possibly prevent major health incidents and disease in a way never before possible.
    10 - Doctors at Work
  • Planning Work Around the Weather

    Today, weather forecasts rely on a few satellites or ground-based weather stations as primary data-gathering points. In the future, billions of sensors will be integrated into different devices and stations in the sky and on the ground. Using big data analysis to better predict the Earth's health will enable more sophisticated and accurate weather and climate-change predictions. This will mean more accurately forecasting extreme weather well in advance so that commuters can better plan a work week. On a global scale, the IoT can mean more accurately predicting climate trends and natural disasters.
    11 - Planning Work Around the Weather

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