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The term “Internet of Things” has been cropping up all over, but how many people really understand what it is and how it can work for them? We’ve set out to break down exactly what the term means and how business owners can apply it to their everyday workflow.

When the Internet first went mainstream, it was all about the data. Catch phrases like ‘Information is power” and “Data is beautiful” caught on quickly and have become absolute truisms for people in both the professional and private sectors of today.

Now that the Internet has established its roots, it’s beginning to change again. Today’s Internet is about connectivity throughout the world. That includes computers, smartphones and tablets of course but also other items not formerly associated with being online. From Bluetooth speakers and music players to online inventory system applications, the Internet is increasingly about things.

That’s where the term Internet of Things comes into play. The Internet of today isn’t just about data — it’s about bringing things together. Already there are stand-alone Wi-Fi enabled order buttons you can use to reorder products on Amazon and biometric active wear that monitors and records your vitals in order to improve your workout.

So what does this mean for the future of the Internet and small business? It’s the dawn of a new age when it comes to inventory forecasting software thanks to better transparency, communication and active cooperation between physical inventory levels, management software and how that data works with every other area of your business. Since inventory levels impact every department from accounting to marketing, having a system that makes that flow simpler and easier to interpret means a workflow that can adapt, change and stay ahead of the game.

Every business owner knows that in order to stay afloat and succeed, a company must be willing to change and adapt with the times. Today that means adapting to the new powers, options and flexibility the Internet can offer. With the advent of the Internet of Things, companies can manage inventory, cash flow and work easier and more effectively — if they’re willing to invest their time and energy into adoption the applications and tools that can carry them into the 21st Century.