The global enthusiasm surrounding the ecosystem known as the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) has positioned data as one of the most valuable assets that a company can own and monetize. According to IDC, the worldwide market for IoT applications (intelligent and embedded systems, connectivity and security services, infrastructure services and platforms) reached $1.9 trillion last year, and is expected to more than triple to $7.1 trillion by 2020.
The valuation of technologies in the emerging IoT ecosystem will largely depend on the revenue models around data monetization through control of he IoT data value chain. It is becoming clear that controlling the data value chain from the point of data collection to the point of data analytics is key to unlocking these value creation opportunities. Hence, companies proceed through acquisitions to get better control over the value chain. Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs, followed by the recently announced $555 million acquisition of Dropcam, granted Google access to home data collection endpoints through Nest’s growing inventory of home automation devices and Dropcam’s home security cameras.
There are several areas where IoT data analytics can increase original equipment manufacturer (OEM) profitability and create new revenue opportunities, including longer asset uptime, enhanced customer experience and reduction in maintenance and service costs. As seen from GE’s launch of its Industrial Internet platforms in 2012 to airlines, energy companies, hospitals and other industry segments, there are some interesting opportunities related to the value creation associated with data in the IoT ecosystem. These opportunities exist not only in the industrial space, but also in consumer-facing IoT applications such as home automation and wearables, as well as in industries such as agriculture.
Putting privacy and security concerns aside, data represents the promise of new economic benefits that are only possible when big data is leveraged in big ways.
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