The Internet of Things (IoT) is a young industry. However, it grows rapidly and finds its applications in entirely different areas. Most people know such examples of IoT devices as home security systems or refrigerators. Smart refrigerators are connected to the internet and collect data from sensors. Thanks to this approach, users can receive notifications when they run out of food or forget to close the door.
The concept of smart devices has quickly evolved over the last decade, so now we have not only smart refrigerators, alarms, or thermostats, but also smart homes — systems of many smart devices linked to each other. According to statistics, there are more than 8.4 billion smart units in the world already, and this figure is expected to grow up to 20 billion by 2020.
Although the consumer segment represents the largest share of IoT (63%), such concepts as smart farms and smart cities prove that this technology has a vast variety of possible applications. IoT can change the way businesses run and develop products. One of the many areas that can benefit from IoT is project management.
IoT and Project Management
IoT-related projects introduce new challenges for project managers. However, this technology also introduces new standards of efficiency. Most project managers are unfamiliar with IoT yet.
IoT has certain specifics, and project managers who start working on the latest IoT projects often have little to no experience in this field. However, as the demand for IoT will grow, a market for project managers who have the necessary expertise will also develop.
Although the Internet of Things is still young, its growth in popularity in the nearest future is unquestionable, and the main reason is the efficiencies it delivers. Project managers have to realize the disruptive potential of IoT now, and the main reason is that everyone starts to use it. Businesses are expected to use as much as 7.5 billion IoT devices by 2020.
First, IoT will change the workload, providing project managers with plottable data points. It will also reduce data gathering and reporting effort because project managers will have instant access to condition reports on databases, servers, and other hardware.
IoT will also encourage collaboration by providing actionable data at every stage of a project. On the other hand, after the Dyn DDoS attack in 2016, it became apparent that the issue of security becomes crucial. Thus, project managers will also have to ensure a systematic security audit process.
How IoT Is Revolutionizing Project Management
1. Fast reporting
Project managers often waste a lot of time waiting for reports. Smart devices connected to the internet can generate reports, data, and results much faster. Automation allows devices to generate data and reports sequentially. Projects used to get stuck waiting for the analytics from their systems but now projects and their phases become independent from other parties.
2. Abundance of data
Data collection and archiving have always been time-consuming and laborious because they have to be done manually. Thanks to IoT, this process is almost instantaneous. At the same time, data analytics becomes more advanced than ever. Thus, project managers have to improve their data handling approaches, and businesses have to invest more in data management, hiring experienced data analysts. In addition, businesses must pay particular attention to data storage.
3. Predictive maintenance and waste reduction
IoT causes a significant impact on manufacturing. Various sensors allow manufacturers to monitor their equipment in real time, performing predictive maintenance. For example, Duke Energy saved $4.1 million in equipment damage and power loss by using predictive analytics software. Data analysis allows companies to predict when certain rooms and offices won’t be in use, reducing the waste of electricity. For instance, Mercedes-Benz is using IoT systems for temperature regulation and lighting to reduce energy usage by 50%.
4. Data trends
Using IoT, businesses can collect and handle data faster than ever. Also, they get an opportunity to use this data for predictive analytics, quickly developing effective solutions for possible problems.
The fast speed of all the data-related processes allows project managers to quickly convey the necessary information to their team members so that each and every member of the team can stay up-to-date about the current challenges and priorities.
5. Identifying the needs of the workforce
The predictive functionality of the IoT systems allows project managers to precisely identify workforce needs, adjusting workloads, detecting skills that will be needed, and utilizing their employees more effectively.
The Internet of Things offers numerous opportunities for project management. IoT has already been appreciated by many companies that want to create a perfect environment for high productivity and quick results.
As more and more companies adopt this technology, it becomes apparent that IoT offers a significant competitive advantage.
The increased efficiency of data analysis and the advantages of predictive analysis can become the key reason why competitors outperform your company so businesses certainly shouldn’t ignore the Internet of Things and its disruptive potential.
The use of IoT is beneficial for every stage of the project lifecycle. Businesses can monitor their equipment in real time, ensuring effective maintenance. They can use IoT sensor systems to reduce energy consumption and to automate numerous time-consuming processes.
Project managers can use insights obtained from IoT systems to quickly communicate the necessary priorities and to adjust workloads. As smart devices become an integral part of our lives, businesses should consider IoT not only a competitive advantage but a necessity that determines their future success.
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