‘Internet of Things’ has huge potential for SMEs

Cork Institute of Technology’s Nimbus Centre is helping businesses to gain a unique selling point by improving their goods and services through the Internet of Things (IoT).

There is a lot of focus now on how digital technology has transformed how business is conducted and products are sold and marketed - IoT can greatly improve the products themselves rather than how they’re sold. Wirelessly connecting and controlling physical products is known as the 'Internet of things' (IoT).

Head of Nimbus’ industry division, Richard Linger, says: ‘IoT is becoming more and more accessible and inclusive. The range of products and services that can be enhanced through this technology is endless – almost any object can be transformed into a “smart” object, and the customer base for these enhanced products is expanding rapidly. This can offer the elusive USP businesses strive for.’

Management consultancy firm, Accenture, recently surveyed over 1,400 top level executives on their attitudes and strategies regarding IoT: 84% believed that their organisations have the capability to use IoT to create new service-based income streams. However, only 7% have built an IoT strategy and made concrete investments.

‘SMEs should exploit this and develop an IoT strategy to keep a step ahead,’ says Richard. ‘Businesses lacking resources for their own research and development team have access to and can use the support of 100 engineers and researchers at Nimbus.’

Nimbus employs a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in hardware, energy management, software, water systems & services, multimedia, healthcare and more. The team is diverse because IoT has diverse applications. Clients come from a wide range of backgrounds, some with little to no technical knowledge.

‘We don’t make products “smart” for the sake of it. Our projects are commercially feasible and some have had life-saving applications. Our work drives a “Smart Agenda” that improves the quality of our lives,’ says Richard.

The Nimbus Centre was founded in 2006 and supports three individual pillars: research, learning and industry. Companies who have availed of Nimbus’ services include Intel, EMC, Philips and Bord Gáis, it also work extensively with start-ups and SMEs. For more details visit www.nimbus.cit.ie