Here at Greenbeam Consulting, one of our consultants has been offering independent CRM consulting services for over 20 years – and they have seen a lot of changes in that time. One of the significant changes there has been is the introduction and rapid adoption of the internet.  The internet and associated technology have had a massive impact on the way that we interact with each other as people, and now objects are communicating with the internet as well. Smart devices are not only connecting to the internet but also exchanging data and even interacting with humans as well – and this has led to the development of the “Internet of Things”.

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things is defined as “the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators and connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data.” It is not only revolutionising how we interact with objects and complete tasks, but it is also having an impact on how we collect data and pass that data between objects and systems. The IoT has been hailed as a significant breakthrough by some businesses as it has helped them develop new products and services, provided new revenue streams, and even improved quality of life in some cases.

Connected devices growth

The rapid growth of the Internet of Things has been primarily driven by the wide availability of mobile devices, the adoption of Wi-Fi, faster communication speeds and systems capability increasing. Research has shown that in 2016 there were 6 billion connected ‘things’, and this figure is expected to surpass 8 billion this year, which means there will be more ‘things’ than there are people in the world! This figure is set to rise even more, with some people predicting that the amount of connected ‘things’ will reach 20 billion in 2020. Despite the largest amount of ‘things’ being in the consumer segment at the moment, the growth of the business segment is now starting to increase rapidly.

In which industries is IoT used?

If you take a look at the IoT, you will find that it has entered almost every industry you can think of! It is used in the Automotive sector for connected cars, self-diagnostic engines and part sensors for example. In Healthcare it is used for biochips and heart monitoring implants, while in farming it is used for transponders on farm animals. It is also used in the utility industry for home energy management solutions and energy meters, and for smart locks and detection alerts in the security sector. The list really is endless!

What does the IoT mean for CRM?

Well, all of this is very well, but what impact will the IoT have on CRM? Quite massive implications actually, as CRM is concerned with data and the IoT can help enhance the capabilities of your CRM software. In the future, CRM will be all about big data analytics, deep industry knowledge and cognitive computing. Back in 2014, Gartner predicted that CRM would become the primary driver for companies to remain competitive in the digital space, with Big Data, Cloud Computing, Mobile and Social being the main driving forces – it later added IoT to this list.

What opportunities does the IoT bring?

The IoT can bring many benefits to companies from a CRM point of view.  It can help you:

  • Provide a better service for your customers and thereby reduce support costs
  • Deliver personalised marketing to customers by generating in-depth insights from all of the data it gathers and sifts through.
  • Offer customers more appropriate products and services as, again, the data it can collect and sift through can be used to pinpoint exactly what your customers are in need of

As you can see the IoT is one of the most critical trends in the world of technology today, and there are many benefits to be gained from introducing it to your business in connection with your CRM system.

For more information on CRM systems or our independent CRM consulting services, please call us today on 0843 523 5640 or drop us an email to [email protected]