When Your Intranet Talks to the IoT

I have a case of what in German is called Putzfimmel… an obsession with cleaning products.

That’s why my absolute favourite part of the Internet of Things (IoT) is the Dash button that sits on your washing machine and automatically orders laundry detergent when your supply is about to run out.

This button is just one of the 9 billion devices currently connected to the IoT. There will be between 15 billion and 1 trillion of them in the next ten years with an economic impact of US$ 2.7 trillion.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 19.44.14I spoke at IABC EME’s EuroComm 2016 conference last week about what I believe is the future of comms. Much faster than I would have ever expected… the IoT is becoming an important part of it.

Machines are becoming an important contributor to our social intranets. Content produced by them will soon compete for employees’ attention.

Take for example a health & safety community on a collaborative platform set up to inform staff of the importance of operating and supervising machines in a safe way, of paying attention to warnings and reducing risks. Such community becomes much more effective if it is able to integrate messages sent from those machines over the IoT with real time feedback and alerts.

The IoT is also expected to be a powerful source of information about employees’ behaviours and sentiment.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 19.43.16Imagine an internal announcement being sent out about a planned merger. The next day the IoT devices start picking up signals showing a change in behaviour and a higher number of mistakes made by staff while operating a particular set of machines. Is this the result of anxiety about the pending merger? Is the general feeling of uncertainty triggered by the announcement seeping through and having a negative impact on staff’s ability to focus on their job?

I can remember the days when we weren’t able to find a way of demonstrating the impact our internal comms was having on the most remote parts of the company. Thanks to the IoT those days might soon be over.

I will be sharing more thoughts about the future of the communication profession at Scarlett Abbott’s London launch party in mid May.


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