The internet of things (IoT) is all around us—or at least, it will be soon. For now, many industries are focused on internal applications like inventory tracking. The travel and hospitality industries are, along with a few others, leading the way on consumer-facing IoT usage.
According to April research from Tata Consultancy Services, 71.9% of travel, transportation and hospitality executives around the world said their company was using the IoT in mobile apps for their customers. That compared to 46.5% of business executives overall. Respondents in the banking and financial services, insurance,
media and entertainment, telecom and retail industries were also using the IoT via mobile apps at above-average rates. But in many industries, the leading reason for using IoT technology was behind the scenes: for production and distribution operations, to track product flow to customers. Even in retail, where 50.0% of respondents said they used the IoT in mobile apps, respondents were even more likely to do so to support operations (55.9%). In other industries, such as automotive, production and distribution usage of the IoT was more than twice as common as mobile apps that took advantage of the technology.
It’s no surprise that businesses are taking advantage of the logistical applications of the IoT. According to data from Retail Systems Research, retailers alone have a number of operational challenges they believe the IoT will help them solve. At the top of the list were inventory accuracy and visibility into customers’ physical shopping behaviors.