Drawn by the promise of lower costs and more control over their space, consumers are flocking to the Internet of Things, as are deep-pocketed corporations, enticed by the added bonus of deeper insights into increasingly numerous and complex data streams. But, somewhere between the hype and the hope fall small- and mid-sized businesses, just trying to make sense of it all, and taking small but practical steps like these toward digital transformation.

1) Equipment management. Critical local or remote assets, fitted with the proper sensors, can alert you to the need for maintenance and repairs, as well as imminent or actual failure.

2) Interoffice productivity. Giving teams access to virtual assistants such as Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant can make common tasks easier and more expedient. Examples include: scheduling meetings and appointments; fact checking and info gathering; and small-scale inventory control, such as monitoring and reordering office supplies.

3) Cost control. In warehouses and interior spaces, businesses can use the same IoT devices as homeowners to reduce energy and consumption costs.