By Sukriti Jalali, head of the IoT Initiatives group within the High Tech business unit at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
A large number of use cases in Industrial Internet are targeted towards improving operational efficiencies and optimizing business processes, for instance in the area of manufacturing, supply chain, after sales service, workspaces, customer experience, smart premises and so on. As the Industrial Internet matures beyond its incubation phase, the next phase, which is, monetization, is poised to come from avenues like an IoT data marketplace.
An IoT data marketplace will allow secure and an ‘owner controlled’ exchange of sensor data (or sensor data combined with other data sources) between interested entities. The intent will be to create specialized services based on advanced insights, delivering significant value to the buyers of this data.
In a marketplace ecosystem, there will be entities who own the data, customers who are willing to pay for data sets and a broker entity that provides value added services between the buyers and sellers. Other stakeholders could provide services like infrastructure, catalogs, trade and transaction, data mashups, data de-identification, data aggregation, enriching data from other sources etc., to create a more value-added product.
Let us look at a few scenarios:
- An environment monitoring solution that shares air quality and pollution data with non-government organizations, citizens, or government agencies for better policy-making, and also with manufacturers of environment quality products, audit companies, and service providers.
- An aggregator which combines weather or wind speed information from multiple sources and creates a data product along the lines of a superior wind speed forecasting model
- A vehicle — which could be part of a rental fleet — willing to sell diagnostic data to other ecosystem players, like, a rental company, insurance company, automotive OEM, or tier-two automotive component owners that manufacture gears, engines, and body electronics
- A technology company that is developing a sensor data or IoT platform product, and is willing to pay for large data sets of real-time anonymized data to test their product.
- Sharing the load patterns of heavy electric appliances to enable smart scheduling, or sharing of energy data of buildings, for availing a group discount on energy bills.
- A critical part that needs replacement being shared with pre-qualified vendors and 3D print companies for the most competitive, fastest or most customized service.
A look at the above scenarios depicts that data in the IoT world is a bit more complex than in the IT world. The IT data is generated and consumed within enterprises. Web / mobile / social data is largely generated by consumers, but monetized by social and product search companies. In the IoT arena, while the data generated by connected devices could be owned by enterprises, its monetization could potentially be in the purview of device manufacturers, enterprises, or even a third party service provider or data aggregator. Deciding who owns the data and thus bringing enterprises, people and processes together to create meaningful, viable scenarios for trade and monetization will be key to discovering new opportunities in the marketplace.
An IoT data marketplace platform should at a minimum, provide the following services
- Data collection
- Data discovery
- Data query
- Data linking, views, fusion
- Data quality, curation
- Data anonymization
- Data publishing
- Financial services – might be using Blockchains or other cryptocurrencies
Though the IoT data marketplace concept is still in its infancy, implementing it will lead to incremental value creation and monetization across the industrial internet ecosystem. The key pillars of an IoT data marketplace strategy would be:
- Clarity on data ownership, usage, anonymization
- Secure, scalable and robust infrastructure
- A monetization model that includes sellers, buyers, third party entities and intermediaries
- Models to determine quality, utility and timeliness of IoT data
- Secure payments and processing
Understanding the immense opportunities that an IoT marketplace offers will help organizations remain competitive and enable sustainable and disruptive business models. The technology components of an IoT marketplace are gradually converging. With data as the new product, enterprises of the future should look at how IoT can play a role beyond existing scenarios and applications.
For more insights into an IoT Data Marketplace, please refer to the detailed whitepaper available here: