The Internet of Things is quickly changing how people use their smart devices. Over the past ten years the telephone has transitioned from a means of telecommunicating to a tool for sharing, creating, tracking and analyzing information. Already in 2008 there were more devices than people connected to the Internet. By 2015, the number of linked objects had reached nearly 5 billion.
All this means that industries relying on connected technology have to start considering what effect this digital transformation will have on their business models. This is especially relevant for field service providers who have to prepare themselves to receive, analyze and act on the rapid increase of valuable data provided by all these IoT devices. Here are 5 facts to keep in mind about IoT.
Though the most of us in the tech sector understand the meaning and value of the Internet of Things, 87% of people have never heard of it. It is hard if not impossible to convince a client of the value of IoT if they don’t know what it is. That is why sales representatives have to be well-versed in the value of IoT so that they can convince clients of the advantages to be gained.
A report from Gartner shows that 2017 is set to see a 31% increase, or 8.4 million units, in connected devices. By 2020, their ubiquity will be undeniable with 20.4 billion IoT linked machines and gadgets. This is great news for clients whose businesses depend on the reliability of their machines. Thanks to the constant transmission of data through installed sensors, machines can be monitored remotely for potential problems. This makes it possible for maintenance to be performed preemptively. This kind of predictive maintenance can prevent a defect from occurring and interrupting routine operations.
The next five years will see huge investments in IoT solutions amounting to up to $6 trillion. It will be essential for field service providers to ready themselves for what will be a consistent increase in IoT applications. After all, more IoT will mean a greater demand for field service technicians who are skilled and trained to address potential service needs. The most effective way to add expert manpower to a field service team is to implement a crowd service solution, a pool of qualified technicians connected through field service software to the company. With a own, crowd ecosystem, a field service provider can ensure it has adequate staff with the right expertise to handle service requests anywhere and anytime.
In just 3 years, there will be 6.1 billion people using smartphones. This is great news for field service providers looking to improve their service processes without making a huge initial investment in hardware. Already, over 62% of leading field service companies have initiated a BYOD (bring your own device) strategy. This involves equipping the smartphone with field service management software and taking the necessary measures to ensure that the device is secure and performing optimally.
Consumers are reaching more and more for wearable devices to keep track of their schedules and their fitness goals. The market grew 223% in 2015 with around 8 million Fitbits and Apple Watches being sold. As the number of devices sold continues to grow, the possibilities for field service expand exponentially. Thanks to the fusion of wearables and virtual reality technology, less-experienced service providers can turn to highly-qualified personnel for assistance and guidance. This means an increase in first-time-fix-rates, which leads to more satisfied customers.
IoT is affording us immeasurable amounts of useful data. The best way to reap the benefits is to make sure your business is equipped to handle the demands of increasingly connected devices. You can do this by increasing your ability to respond to service requests through Crowd Service technology and giving your technicians access to knowledge and to each other through smartphones and wearable technology. Put IoT to work when creating your field services solutions!
To get more information about Crowd Service download the following free white paper: Understanding Crowd Service Solutions: The Evolution Of Field Service