The business opportunity of the ‘Internet of Things’ cannot be underestimated. It will change the way everyone works and we are only just beginning to feel its influence.
According to Cecil Nurse, it’s no secret that the office furniture world continues to undergo a metamorphosis, but the unknown factor is what it will look like when it emerges on the other side.
The ‘Internet of Things’, or IOT as it is colloquially known, is a primary reason for this as it is constantly moving the goalposts, not only in terms of new products, software applications, services and solutions, but because it is responsible for the continual re-imagining of the office environment. In effect, it will disrupt every industry and business over the coming years and even decades.
HOT TOPIC: THE CONNECTED OFFICE
While IOT has been around for some time, the past few years have seen it come into its own. It envelops the recent technology trends of mobile communications, cloud computing and big data and offers a myriad of opportunities for manufacturing and vertical industries.
IOT IN THE WORKPLACE
You would have had your head buried in the sand not to have noticed the dramatic changes already taking place within the workplace, and IOT is certainly playing its part. In what is now the third wave of the internet, IOT is modifying the way the office is being designed, utilized, and the way that workers interact within the environment.
It will become the norm for products we can’t even begin to imagine right now to monitor, assess, scrutinize and optimize the world around us. The IOT frees the world from restrictions of only being able to access data and information via PCs, tablets and phones, and extends it to just about anything. The smart workplaces use beacons, sensors and cameras operational in offices to allocate viable meeting room space, adjust window coverings to create ambient temperature and light settings, assign employee seating, monitor and adjust air conditioning and heating, and automatically call for janitorial services to clean the washroom.
From a facilities management point of view, the office environment has now become a wealth of information as sensors constantly send streams of data that can help manage an entire building, right down to individual rooms.
On a more personal note, the increase in interest in wellness in the office will boost the use of health monitors while sensors built into office chairs will send information to automatically adjust the seat for better posture.
Office furniture manufacturers have also been incorporating connectivity into products for some time. At Cecil Nurse, for instance, many desk ranges feature integrated power management and power kits that include data cables and internet access.
IOT-connected devices provide masses of data that can be analysed for detailed insights which can then be used to streamline business processes, make better strategic decisions, increase productivity and sales, and shape the future of the business in terms of customer relationships. They can help make businesses more competitive and agile and enable dealers to respond more quickly to customer demands and changing market conditions.