Global positioning systems (GPS) have come to the fore over the last five to 10 years. The number of suction ring marks found on the inside of car windscreens has no doubt skyrocketed, and most people are now a mere smartphone click away from allowing Google Maps or an equivalent application to pinpoint their exact location on this vast, spinning rock of ours. Growing hand-in-hand with this consumer-friendly technology has been the GPS tracking device, used for the internal-surveillance of vehicles and the recovery of stolen ones.

Though the benefits for business insurance and motor fleet operators have been clear, in the past, investors have seen expensive devices, subscription costs and signal dead-zones in remote or indoor locations as too negative for a successful return on investment. However, the focus on developing the lifestyle-changing technology has led to its commercial uses becoming less expensive and more commercially appealing to businesses around the world – particularly for SMEs.

ABI Research have forecast that the market for GPS tracking technology will exceed $3.5 billion by 2019, thanks in no small part to Apple’s iBeacon development, which will increase global device connectivity for indoor areas and those places that would otherwise be difficult tracking locations.

As development creates a low-cost entry point for original equipment manufacturers, a spike in awareness and wider availability makes it more attractive for commercial use.

For the millions of Australian SME​s that may be reliant on the use of everyday vehicles, the reduction to their insurance rates can be a healthy proposition, and the unfortunate scenario where premiums rise due to claims on stolen and unrecovered vehicles can often be avoided.

The potential then for reduced premium costs in everyday enterprises, extending anywhere from farm insurance through to builder’s cover, is vast.

ROI is particularly measurable in simple expenditure like this, and small- to medium-sized companies will see their investment go further than they would have in previous years. It means that, even as a preventative measure, the installation of GPS tracking devices could soon free-up precious time and resources that SMEs can often need.