Businesses are starting to look at new monetization opportunities beyond first-generation, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications. For the industrial sector, the IIC hosted a brainstorming discussion on this topic during the Q4-2017 IIC Member meeting in Burlingame, CA.
Here are a few ideas stemming from our corporate experience in supporting multi-user, multi-application IIoT systems. To begin with, let’s stand back and consider how IIoT applications are likely to evolve. Most of today’s solutions are silo applications. They involve a sensor or connected device whose data passes, via an IIoT platform, to an application. Here, data analytics help the system owner to check the status of a manufacturing process, for example. Or, a combination of data analytics and AI can predict the need for a maintenance intervention due to an impending breakdown.
The next evolution of IIoT applications will support cross-silo interactions. As illustrated, this could take the form of a data feed (e.g. weather), possibly from a third-party provider, to create an improved application. As the number and diversity of data sources and applications grow, the industry will move towards the marketplace applications scenario.
The marketplace scenario allows many different data providers and application developers to interact and create innovative services. Innovation is not limited to new applications. There is scope for new, data enhancement firms to join the marketplace. They can process raw data and either supply clean or value-added data back to the marketplace.
Why are these models important for IIoT monetization? Firstly, they offer a framework for exploring new monetization schemes. Secondly, they lay the groundwork for tracking data consumption patterns. Eventually, these will form the basis for charging and monetization schemes. A simplified way for industrial forms to experiment with these ideas is through the following models.
These models are a useful tool for industrial firms to test their IIoT strategies. The silo approach means that an organization has a firm boundary around its IIoT application. However, in the cross-silo scenario, it may loosen this boundary condition, allowing it to link to other IIoT applications or data assets it may own.
Firms need to embrace an open eco-system approach to maximize the value from different IIoT opportunities. This is an important principle for the marketplace scenario and one InterDigital has tested in a region-wide, smart city deployment.
The marketplace concept can be an uncomfortable position for many firms. Some worry about privacy and security issues. Others don’t wish outside organizations to profit from their resources, overlooking the potential for positive feedback loops that reinforce their own businesses.
These are a few of the challenges that organizations are tackling as the IIoT matures. The IIC has a task group exploring these issues and welcomes participation from organizations that have an interest in the topic and experiences to share.
For more information:
- IIC Business Strategy & Innovation Framework
- Video: The Importance of the Business Strategy & Innovation Framework
 Industrial IoT Platforms in the IIC’s Business Strategy & Innovation Framework – https://www.iiconsortium.org/pdf/Business_Strategy_and_Innovation_Framework_Nov_2016.pdf
 Intelligent Transport Solutions for Smart Cities and Regions: Lessons Learned from an 18-month Trial – http://www.iiconsortium.org/pdf/June_2017_JoI_Intelligent_Transport_Solutions_for_Smart_Cities_and_Regions.pdf