Let’s start with the basics: The Internet of Things is a computing concept that describes the idea that everyday physical objects are connected to the Internet and can identify themselves to other devices so that they can send and receive data, that is, they can “talk.” ” each other. And some of the biggest companies are putting IoT technology to work to improve their operations in ways big and small.
So what kinds of things can IoT technology do? “There may be sensors to alert when shelves need to be restocked or track where items are in the supply chain,” says Forrester analyst Sucharita Kodali. She cites the use of IoT in amazon go Smart shops and carts.
walmart has been use of IoT devices to monitor energy production, among other things, according to Sanjay Radhakrishnan, the company’s vice president of global technology. In a Walmart blog post, Radhakrishnan describes how the company manages more than 7 million unique IoT data points in its US stores. “Every day, this network of connected devices sends nearly 1.5 billion messages about temperature , operational functions, and power usage,” he writes.
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Impact of IoT on the environment
IoT technology affects more than just the bottom line; it’s also good for the planet. Across the grocery industry, connected devices are being harnessed to improve food safety and reduce excessive energy consumption, according to the world economic forum. For example, one of the IoT applications Walmart uses monitors refrigeration units that house products like ice cream and milk. Inform a maintenance team if sensors indicate equipment problems so they can be repaired early with minimal downtime and no major failures. To put the technology’s impact into perspective globally, over the last five years, IoT solutions have saved $37 million for food retailers by reducing food waste, while avoiding more than 2 million tons of waste. carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (equivalent to the annual emissions of Malta).
IoT-enabled waste management and recycling also promise greater environmental efficiency. Retail waste and recycling solutions use IoT-enabled sensors to monitor bin locations and capacity levels to optimize collection schedules and routes, enabling retailers to reduce operating costs and increase collection efficiency. waste management on site. IoT-enabled retail waste and recycling solutions also eliminate the need for retailers to physically monitor their waste receptacles and pay for additional collections.
IoT solutions also allow food retailers to store energy in battery banks and redirect heat from refrigeration systems to nearby homes. In short, IoT technology can not only ensure proper food temperatures are maintained to reduce losses, it can also maximize the efficiency of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, appliances, and more.
EXPLORE: Find out what technology tools stores can leverage to enhance the in-store shopping experience.
Weak security can be a drawback for IoT technology
Despite its many benefits, IoT technology can present security vulnerabilities. “The data is hacked,” says Kodali. (To safeguard your data and infrastructure, consider using CDW Amplified™ Security Services, which can help you protect your network through a variety of options, including penetration testing). It’s also important to understand what IoT data your business needs and whether you have the infrastructure to support it. When designing an IoT architecture, organizations need to be aware of the legacy technology in use that is not IP-aware and therefore not IoT-ready.
Ultimately, the potential for IoT applications is “limited only by the human imagination,” according to the world economic forum. CDW Amplified™ Infrastructure Services can help you design, orchestrate, and manage a modernized IT environment that leaves your business poised for growth.