The Internet of Things (IoT) is a trendy term for an incredibly useful new type of device: Smart devices. Devices that respond to Wi-Fi commands through web portals and mobile device. And they have an undeniable place in the modern office. The uses for IoT range from turning off an entire floor of lights with a word to remotely managing building security. With specialized business IoT devices, your office can likely do even more than the basic applications that have been imagined. Particularly if IoT is combined with “Smart Home” voice hub technology.
This article will outline the top tips for implementing and managing a network of IoT devices in your business.
Implementing IoT in the Office
Bringing IoT into the office starts with your choice of IoT technology.
1. Choose Your Hub
The first step is to choose the smart hub you want to use. While you can manage your IoT devices through individual portals and apps, the most complete and useful experience comes from something only offered by a hub that can use ‘skills’ to manipulate all of your IoT devices on command without worrying about which brand made them or which app controls them.
Alexa is winning the race for Smart Home hubs, and more devices respond to Alexa than other hubs. However, Microsoft is quickly dominating the market for a business IoT hub through Azure. The important thing is that you choose a hub that works with the devices you want to use and interacts in a way that works for your business.
Whatever hub you choose, you’ll need to place a hub speaker anywhere you want commands to be heard.
2. Start with Smart Lights
If your business is new to IoT, the best place to start is smart lights. It is cool to turn one light on and off with a voice command, without walking to the switch. It’s an efficiency miracle to turn on or off an entire floor of lights without running from switch to switch. Smart lights can improve your energy efficiency and save loads of time for anyone who opens or closes each day. Not to mention the ability to control brightness and the occasional use of party colors.
3. Create Helpful Routines Anyone Can Use
An IoT routine is a group of device commands enacted by a single trigger. For example, you can set every single light on a routine and turn them off by saying “Turn Off All Lights” or you can separate the routines floor by floor with commands like “Turn On Finance Lights”. Of course, routines can do much more than that. You could, for example, set up a routine called “Good Morning Office” that turns on the lights, starts the smart coffee pot brewing, warms up the printer, and unlocks the smart lock on the front door as well.
Be sure to create a few routines that everyone in the office can use on command, like lights or coffee pot controls, to make your office more responsive and intuitive overall.
4. Specialty Routines for Business Purposes
You will also likely want a few specialty routines known only to the teams meant to use them. IoT security, for example, does not need publicly available routines but the security team may be able to do some interesting and useful tasks with voice-command cameras and other IoT Security devices.
Of course, installing IoT in your office is only the first half of the process. As any IT security professional can tell you, the cost for all that accessibility is an increased cybersecurity risk. Fortunately, IoT can easily be secured by following the right separation and recovery steps which we’ll be covering in the second half of this article. Join us next time for part two where we’ll talk about how to ensure your new IoT gadgets are not a security risk for your internal business network. Contact us today to find out more about adding IoT functionality to your business!