While innovation takes a number of different forms in the business sector depending on the industry, there is one constant. Innovation has one primary goal in regards to internal operations — more efficient data sharing. This is consistent across a myriad of industries in both the public and private sector. The ability to share information quickly and allow those tasked with making decisions based on that information to do so in real-time can improve overall productivity and have a significant positive impact on profitability.
In many cases, this is being facilitated by the development of two innovative technologies: SMS services and the internet of things.
What is the internet of things?
While still relatively in its infancy, the internet of things has the potential to transform the way we use mobile devices, create data and share it with other users. The general concept is that anything — even devices that traditionally have no communication functionality — can be used to connect to the internet. Through Wi-Fi ports, these devices will share information with relevant receivers.
The key advantage is that devices will effectively speak to each other. Think of an empty ice tray using the internet to tell the ice maker it needs to make more ice. While this use, albeit helpful, is really only for standard consumers, there are many more benefits in the enterprise. Office appliances can speak to one another to reduce the risk of any slowdown in daily operations. Some people have seen this in the form of empty printers speaking to their corresponding computers to let them know they need ink or new paper. With the advancement of mobile technology, this process can be more efficient.
Adding SMS messaging to the internet of things
What if you got a notification on your phone when a business action created by an internet-connected machine needs to take place? This is a lot easier than waiting to get a notification on the desktop, particularly if this need requires immediate action. Today's employees are constantly on the move and are rarely confined to stationary work spaces. A notification sent to a desktop computer could sit for an hour before it's read. In today's fast-paced business landscape, that is far too much time and could significantly impact the accuracy of that information.
Manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to improve data sharing efficiency, and the internet of things and mobility may be the best answer. When those at the top of the assembly line run out of raw materials, they don't have to manually enter their quantities. The physical area holding the materials will do that for them. Sending that information to the mobile phone of the person responsible for refilling raw materials will ensure shortages don't slow down production.
When products are finished and inventoried to be sent to distributors, retailers and customers, the machines used to perform this task can record all necessary data and push it to cell phone users instantly. No longer will companies run the risk of suffering from inaccurate numbers due to human error.
This is still a relatively new concept, but it's going to continue to grow in usage, as long as it's properly managed. An SMS API can integrate devices to the organization's communications network and ensure everyone is connected and on the same page.