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What does
IoT look like
in practice?

For most people, the Internet of Things (IoT) applications conjures up images of self-driving cars, smart refrigerators and fitness monitors. But in reality, some of the technology's biggest use cases are happening in the business world. Companies are leveraging the technology to improve the efficiency of their day-to-day processes and operations.

In fact, the global market of connected devices is projected to hit $1,102.6 billion by 2026. This boom will likely push organizations across sectors to develop new business models and achieve full-fledged digital transformations, but it won't happen overnight. Many businesses recognize the potential of connected devices, but some are still being held back from going all in due to concerns over a lack of standards, security, interoperability and cost.

Despite these challenges, a positive shift is occurring. New network technologies are helping larger projects get off the ground, and enterprises that have embraced connected devices are already reaping the rewards of increased efficiency, streamlined operations and new services. If you're on the fence about connected devices, take a look at the following examples of what enterprise-grade IoT applications and solutions look like in practice. You may uncover unexpected values.

IoT in construction: construction drones perform inspections

When you think of futuristic devices, your mind might jump straight to technology like drones. It's easy to imagine a world with drones flying everywhere, but today, they may seem like fancy toys.

That's not the case. For a company like Hensel Phelps Construction Co., drones can get tough jobs done faster and more safely. Take inspections, for example: The company can deploy a drone to fly up and perform a dangerous part of a building inspection remotely. With a built-in camera, inspectors can take pictures or watch live video to complete the inspection without putting themselves in any danger.

On top of this, conducting maintenance on the fleet of drones is easy thanks to their network-connected capabilities. If an issue is detected, the drone will send an alert to the control center, and an engineer can perform repairs before complete component or system failure. Managing all this is surprisingly simple: Hensel Phelps works with Skyward to streamline drone operations, cut costs and keep safety as a top priority.

In short, drones can help save on costs and improve efficiency for the construction industry, and they can deliver benefits across the business in other areas, too, including everything from data gathering to HVAC efficiency inspections.

IoT use cases in the utility industry: simplify grids and energy supply

It might not have the glamour of self-driving cars, but the energy and utilities industry is using internet-connected technology to reinvent itself by automating and enhancing distribution grids.

Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative and Peninsula Light Company are two of a growing number of utilities using Verizon's Grid Wide utility solutions to improve visibility of their operations. By doing so, these organizations can better monitor consumption, manage remote connections and detect outages more quickly. In turn, this drives faster service restoration times, cost savings and increased customer satisfaction.

Cities, countries and communities around the world are facing dire environmental concerns, and these new technical capabilities are helping the industry evolve. Smart grid technologies are paving the way for a future in which the world relies on renewable energy alone. Here, almost more than any other industry, these devices are proving critical — not only for business success and customer satisfaction but for the survival of the planet.

IoT applications in transportation: connected technology & sharing economy

Columbus Yellow Cab empowers its drivers, many of whom are casual workers, to locate and use vehicles at their convenience using IoT applications and solutions. Its self-service approach is improving the customer experience with increased ride availability and shorter waiting times as a result.

Columbus Yellow Cab is only one example of many in the transportation industry that have used this technology to boost the efficiency of asset management and enable city-wide fleet sharing to run smoothly. This technical evolution has brought about a new sharing economy in the transportation industry, making it easier than ever to get around as needed from a customer perspective.

On the B2B side, Yellow Cab gets a clearer picture of its operations with an enterprise-grade platform that integrates all of the data and functionality needed to track and manage shared assets. It's a win-win scenario for everyone involved.

This handful of use cases illustrates how IoT is helping businesses realize new revenue streams, cost savings and improved customer experiences, but it doesn't stop there. The technology is helping in a variety of ways across industries. If you're on the fence about connected devices, consider what efficiencies and innovations it may open up for your company.

Searching for ways to advance your organization with connected devices? Discover how Verizon's IoT solutions can transform your enterprise today.