The Internet of things has pressed the turbo button on digital transformation.
What is IoT?
The Internet of things (IoT) is a network of devices that are connected via the internet. This allows the different devices (electronics, homeware, sensors, software etc) to communicate in collecting and exchanging data.
IoT projects are revolutionising how organisations and customers navigate the world and their day-to-day activities. The growing popularity and accessibility of artificial intelligence (AI) powered technology in households, like Amazon Echo or Google Home devices are helping to drive digital transformation across industries.
Consumers are now able to run their own IoT projects on a basic level, by syncing a network of Smart devices in their homes that are connected to the internet and able to speak to each other.
As the hardware required to create connected devices becomes more accessible, they will become common. Forward thinking brands will take this opportunity to extend the interaction with their customers, whilst challenger brands continue to shake up existing markets with innovative ideas.
IoT projects used to differentiate brands
The insurance industry is using IoT devices to change the value proposition they offer to their customers. By installing a smart black box in a customer vehicle, insurance companies can get accurate risk profiles of drivers. Based on journey times and driving styles.
Some insurance companies are already providing smart devices with their policies. These offer pro-active monitoring of security, leaks and threats to the home that can reduce the impact of potential insured events.
There’s a lot of scope for organisations to implement IoT projects to differentiate their customer experience and be digital leaders right now.
Business Insider UK predicts that there will be over 55 billion IoT devices by 2025. Organisations need to decide now if they want to be up front leading this digital movement, or if they’re happy to sit back and wait to play an inevitable catch up.
Internet of things and Sitecore
Organisations on the Sitecore Experience platform have the power to deliver IoT projects. There’s two major avenues of opportunity. Firstly, IoT devices represent another channel to interact with customers and secondly, IoT devices offer the opportunity to capture behavioural and demographic data that would previously have been out of reach.
Let’s consider the first avenue from the perspective of perhaps the most common IoT device found in people’s homes, voice assistants. Voice search is a hot topic in SEO marketing right now and it’s considered that half of searches will be voice searches by 2020 as assistants like Amazon Alexa continue to grow in popularity.
This isn’t just a generational trend either, 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine. However, it is expected that nearly 40% of millennials will use voice assistance by 2019, signalling that organisations already should be considering their own IoT projects.
There’s a lot of sophisticated technology in your average Amazon Echo or Google Home device. The voice recognition capabilities are advanced and are improving all the time. This is coupled with the fantastic support for developers that wish to make custom applications for these devices. All this leaves you free to worry about the important stuff – how do you want your organisation to be represented to your customers on this channel?
It is easy to publish content from Sitecore out to voice devices. Sitecore has made headless easy and this is one of the most direct use cases of headless CMS technology. It’s also simple to integrate personalisation into these responses so that you can get relevant content, in the right tone of voice, to your users via voice devices.
The type and quality of behavioural data that is available from IoT devices is staggering. Given that these devices are in homes and shops, the lines between physical and virtual interactions are now more blurred than ever. This makes it possible to use data from physical interactions to personalise virtual and vice versa.
xConnect makes the consumption of this data straightforward and Sitecore Cortex allows this data to be processed by machine learning algorithms, so that the insight is available to content editors and marketers. The virtual insights combined with the rich onsite data captured in Sitecore analytics could potentially change customer experience forever, moving closer to a single customer view.
The first step for IoT projects
The internet of things is already delivering value to both companies and consumers. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the shift in the digital landscape that is shaping all our futures.
If you’d like to discuss how the internet of things could help to drive your organisation’s digital transformation strategy, or you’d like to know more about Sitecore, contact us to speak to one of our specialists today. We’d love to help.