Just as we were trying to understand the role of the internet of things (IoT) in small businesses, a new player has entered the market and it is the internet of behaviour (IoB). We have come to understand that it is essential to study and gain insight into the growing importance of this latest addition. and how it will affect business and everyday life in the near future. So what is IoB? In short, the IoB refers to the analysis of all the behavioural data collected from the IoT and other sources, also taking the number of attempts made to make use of it. The data is collected through personal wearable technologies as well as household electrical devices and individual’s online activity.
Needless to say, this provides valuable insights and information about users’ behaviour and interests. With the help of the IoT and IoB, it is now possible to track, collect, and interpret the massive amount of data that is amassed from personal behaviour and online activities including commercial transactions and social media habits. The concept of IoB revolves around the correct analysis and understanding of behavioural data, and how it can be applied to create and promote customised products and services which will be of more value to customers. Given the plethora of advantages, corporates and organisations have already started investing heavily in this technology to improve their bottom lines. Additionally, IoB also benefits its customers by providing better tailoring goods and services to their needs and desires.
Growth prediction of IoB
According to experts, the future of both the IoB and IoT is bright and it will continue to have more growth and influence in the future. Gartner, in its report, has predicted that there will be more than 25 billion connected devices by the end of 2021, with the majority of the IoT currently made up of smartphones and other devices are also becoming increasingly common. The Gartner report also predicted that by 2025, there will be 75 billion connected devices all over the globe. Additionally, by 2023, more than 40 percent of the global population’s individual activity will be tracked digitally in order to influence their behaviour using the IoB concept. This translates into the fact that more than three billion people globally will be tracked by their behaviour.
Theoretically, the IoB is capable of revealing crucial insights to organisations that allow them to increase productivity, monitor compliance with Covid-19 safety protocols, and more. But, as we all know, the collection of data can be quite problematic. The use of the IoB begs questions like how we gather, navigate, and use data, especially as we collect more of it. Something as common as smartphones can be used to track your online movements and real-life geographic position. Now companies also know an individual’s interests, dislikes, and the way they purchase.
There is also the risk that cybercriminals can hack and use the data for nefarious means. This information could be stolen and sold to other criminals and has the risk of being revealed. This information could be stolen and sold to other criminals. Hence it is important to keep in mind that IoB is an important trend for companies to take notice of, but they also need to be equally careful in the ways they are protecting the data they collect.
How can the IoB benefit businesses?
For a while now, a large number of digital marketing companies have been using analytics tools to find insights that reveal common consumer behaviours. With the help of IoB, marketers are able to analyse customer buying habits across platforms, gain access to previously unattainable data, redefine the value chain, and provide real-time point-of-sale notifications and targeted advertisements. Additionally, an appealing UX is an important part of sales. With the help of the data provided by the IoB, companies now can understand people’s attitudes toward specific products or services.
This makes the process of resolving customer issues and complaints even easier. The companies that come under the manufacturing sector are already using sensors and RFID tags to determine if on-site employees are washing their hands regularly. And with the help of computer vision, it is also possible to make sure employees are complying with mask protocol or social distancing directives. With the help of IoB, health providers can measure the activation and engagement efforts made by patients. IoB also helps improve public safety by monitoring exciting new opportunities across industries.
Throughout multiple industries, Stefanini, a global digital AI and IT solution provider based in Brazil have been using data collected from IoT devices to help businesses better connect with their employees and customers. Having decades of experience in technology and domain, the company transforms enterprises with integration, digital expertise, and a big-picture vision. Stefanini uses sensors that feed data analytics and IoT platforms, which is then connected with applications and process systems for full end-to-end enterprise intelligence. The company also integrates the data from IoT-connected devices with automation and artificial intelligence to transform the way they work.
The importance of IoB
IoB in businesses provides the ability to analyse a wide range of consumer behaviour and then effectively respond to it for their benefit. Commonly, businesses will use the IoB to market their products and services more effectively to current and potential customers and to influence them further to buy their products. It may seem like IoB only benefits businesses, are a lot of ways how IoB can benefit customers. For example, an insurance company working on a premium based on an individual’s positive or negative health habits or driving records. In another example, a fintech company can use user data to encourage different types of savings or investing plans after analyzing the customers’ spending habits. Additionally, individual health and lifestyle applications can assist customers with important daily variables like sleep, diet, heart rate, weight, and blood sugar. The collection and tracking of this personal health data can help us as well as the healthcare system formulate more targeted and effective treatments and recommendations for better physical and psychological health. For example, Netflix uses user data to forecast what they might like or dislike, by providing suggestions based on their personal preferences and ratings for a specific film or series. Another example is where Uber or any other cab aggregator uses IoT to track drivers and passengers. They offer a survey after each journey to review the guests’ experience.
Additionally, with the help of IoB, companies can also provide a service to individuals with access to this more insightful personal data which will help them resolve potential problems before time and provide improved products and services that will keep their customers happy.
There is no doubt that data has been absolutely essential for businesses to flourish and stay in the market since the inception of the internet. IoB ensures that businesses continue their growth, even in the face of a global pandemic and changing climate of the world’s economy. But the main purpose of IoB is to collect, analyze, respond and understand all types of behaviours to improve customer/user experience. It is a known fact that psychology and marketing go side-by-side from the beginning of advertising. This way, businesses can get new insights into the data that’s collected by IoT. Currently, the IoB is a new but powerful tool for businesses’ sales and marketing worldwide. IoB can help businesses get a better understanding of their customers to keep them happy.
Not only IoB affects customer choice, but it also restructures the supply chain. It helps insurance companies and banks to improve their profile. IoB can help change violent behaviour without special medical advice and can also forecast responses to shopping ads or social media messages.
Concerns surrounding IoB
As is the case with any growing interconnectedness, there is an increasing concern regarding finding the legal and socially acceptable balance when it comes to IoB. According to security experts, while most customers are concerned about companies having too much access to their personal data, it has also been observed that they are agreeing to trade off an acceptable amount of privacy in order to get access to the best deals on products and services they want. It has also been observed that many job seekers will accept some online investigation and analysis of their background by a potential employer.
For example, a lot of people in the logistics industry would be okay with their employers accessing their driving history so that they could determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed. But the same set of people will have an issue if their employer starts snooping their social media activities to determine if they fit for the role.
Similarly, most consumers will not object to a company reviewing and analyzing their latest searches and purchases from the company website, but it’s safe to say that this could easily flip if the company misuses their access and starts analysing their social media behaviour.
Given the rapid growth of IoB, coupled with the rising number of smart devices, it definitely presents a cybersecurity concern. Most of the portals we access are connected to either our personal or business network, which, in turn, presents a threat for sensitive data that has the risk of being compromised or stolen. As IoT and IoB gain more and more popularity, experts say that it is essential to pay more attention to our cybersecurity efforts and to remember to follow good cybersecurity practices both at work and at home.