- Internet of Things (IoT) devices could be the next step in technical adoption for companies with large, mobile workforces, Information Age reports.
- According to a statistic cited from Juniper Research, the number of IoT connected devices is expected to reach 38 billion by 2020. A good share will be useful for commuting employees. In-car services, for example, will enable employees to participate in meetings, access files and send email, even if they're on the side of the road.
- That connectivity won't come without challenges, however. Companies will still have to navigate device operating systems, which might vary between car manufacturers. A counterbalance to this might include integrated communication apps or systems that function with several different operating systems.
The amount of attention being poured into IoT devices means HR professionals can't afford to ignore the opportunities — and risks — such advancements create.
Some of the IoT use cases to which Information Age refers range from practical to downright silly, like thermostats that can be set on your way home from work and refrigerators that can tell you whether you've run out of milk. Yet, it's easy to see how helpful in-car communication systems would be. They might even help to mitigate the considerable stress that commuters face during their day-to-day travels.
Information Age talks about challenges but forgets to mention the considerable security risks involved with IoT devices, particularly as far as HR is concerned. Businesses will want to invest in cybersecurity with the goal of preventing IoT systems from being exploited.
There are also legal considerations at hand. Can you track or monitor employees' activity on devices that are technically hooked up to private property (in the form of cars)? How secure is their private data? One thing's for sure: HR departments will need to strategize heavily before adopting IoT devices en masse.
Even so, new technology can empower businesses to significantly improve internal communication. Companies with remote workforces could be the greatest beneficiaries of IoT integration, since connectivity is critical.