There’s no question the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the way we, as individuals, live our everyday lives. From smart lights and thermostats to health trackers to any number of devices meant to capture data about the way we live with the goal of helping us live more efficiently, sustainably, cost-effectively, or healthily, IoT-connected devices have a strong hold in our personal lives.

But the impact of the IoT doesn’t end there. It’s also transforming the way businesses operate, empowering organizations to operate in similarly more sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective ways based on data capture and analysis and automation of traditionally manual processes.

Just how much is IoT taking off? Last year, Bain & Company predicted that the combined markets for the IoT would grow to $520 billion by 2021 — more than doubling their 2017 value of $235 billion. And the majority of that growth, according to Bain & Co., will be in the enterprise and industrial segments.

But, when it comes to those enterprise-level investments in IoT, what’s the end goal? What changes are businesses looking to effect? Let’s take a look at a few examples, with a focus on how the IoT will transform the billing process in particular.

Better Business Insights

When equipment and systems are connected to the Internet, they create a powerful data stream that gives key players increased visibility into how the systems are operating, any logjams that may be building up and the status of every process at any given moment. From ordering to real-time rating to billing and revenue reporting, this connectivity — and the data and analytics it enables — give businesses the opportunity to proactively solve problems, adjust systems as needed, and check the status of any given transaction at any given moment.

Improved Customer Experience

The connectivity-enabled data stream isn’t just for internal processes, either. Companies can now collect IoT-generated data on customer behavior, as well, understanding more clearly than ever how customers are using their products and services and using that information to improve the customer experience. When customers are ignoring a particular feature, the business can confidently redirect its investments; when they’re giving up on certain features, the business can make adjustments to increase their value or their user-friendliness. When customers are frequently using one feature in conjunction with several others, the business can quickly recognize an opportunity to package those popular features into an attractive bundle.

By collecting and watching this customer data, businesses put themselves in a powerful position to understand and respond to customer needs — almost before customers can even realize what they’re looking for.

Additionally, an IoT-centric billing system gives customers more flexibility in terms of when and how they interact with a business, enabling them to order from any device and pay using a wide range of methods. In today’s customer-centric business landscape, savvy businesses meet customers where they are and do business the way they want. IoT allows companies to do just that.

Significant Time Savings

All of these insights and data-driven decisions will save time, themselves, by enabling agile changes and pivots to business processes and minimizing costly and time-intensive mistakes caused by insufficient data.

But while those indirect time-saving wins are invaluable, they’re just one piece of the puzzle, and IoT-connected processes lead to direct time savings, too. McKinsey recently reported that 60 percent of B2B transactions require some kind of manual intervention, each adding 15 to 20 minutes to the process. That’s an additional hour of work for every three to four transactions! But when businesses embrace the IoT, setting up connected, automated systems to power their processes, they’ll find they save significant time, energy, and resources.

Today’s businesses are racing headfirst into the digital era — or Enterprise 4.0 — and the Internet of Things is just one of the foundational technologies enabling them to minimize risk, maximize revenue potential and optimize the customer experience. If your organization is ready to learn more about how the IoT is powering business processes, we invite you to take a tour of the Gotransverse platform and call us today to schedule your complimentary, personalized demo.