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How to build a smart office for your SME

With the Internet of Things (IoT) entering all spheres of our life, creating a smart office is a good way to future-proof your business. But what if IoT is strange to you? And what are the real benefits of a smart office? In this article, we will look at the jargon and benefits of a smart office, and how you can build one. You may be surprised by how many smart tools you are already using.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

According to an article by Oracle, the Internet of Things refers to a network of physical objects – things – that are embedded with sensors, software and other technologies so they can connect and exchange data with other systems or devices over the Internet. An example will be the smartwatch you may wear. It collects data about your activity throughout the day and then this data is sent over the internet to an app that decodes the data into useful information about your health and activity for the day. These things can range from a smartwatch to a driverless truck.

What is a smart office?

A smart office uses IoT, virtual and augmented reality, and artificial intelligence to improve efficiencies throughout the office.

What are the benefits of a smart office?

By investing in a smart office, you will be able to see some benefits throughout your organisation.

Here are three benefits to think about:

  • Saving money: As you monitor different areas of your business through sensors you will know which areas are used the most and which are not used. This will help you to manage how much energy is used in areas that are not frequently used.
  • Attracting the best talent: The new workforce of millennials is viewing the technology a company uses as one of the deciding factors as to whether or not they will work for you.
  • Decreasing downtime: With sensors on different pieces of equipment throughout your office. You can measure how the machine is operating and jump in if you detect any abnormalities.

So, how do you build a smart office?

1. Consider where you want to use smart technology in your office: There are many areas of your business where you can use smart technology. You could use it to regulate the temperature in your office, to open and close the blinds, to set appointments, to monitor who entered and exit your office, and the list goes on.

2. Consider your workforce: What smart technology can you invest in to make their jobs easier and more efficient? Can you use virtual reality to make online meetings feel more like face-to-face meetings? Do they want smartboards to help with their presentations?

3. Invest in hardware and software for your smart office: When you have an idea of where you want to use smart technology in your business, you will need to buy the tools. To save money, it might be a good idea to consult with a smart office supplier to ensure you spend your money wisely. The areas to consider investing in are

  • Business fibre to ensure the smooth flow of data from objects operating in the IoT.
  • Advanced telecommunications that help to keep the conversation going among your team.
  • Good tele-conferencing and video conferencing tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
  • Advanced cybersecurity that will ensure that whatever data you have in your systems are safe from hackers.

Let’s future-proof our business by building and using smart technology.

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