The power of the Internet of Things (IoT) for Intelligent Device Manufacturers (like General Electric, Nest, Siemens, General Motors etc.) is the enablement of connectivity which helps to collect vast amounts of data from the devices on the field. This helps to replace guess work with information.
For this to happen, three pieces of the puzzle need to fall in place. They are:
- Data acquisition: Seamlessly acquire relevant data from field devices and decide efficient mechanism to transport them
- Data transport: Primarily the ability to transfer the data from Point A to Point B, the domain of Internet Service Providers and mobile carriers
- Data analysis: Ability to analyze the data to extract meaningful information to act upon, the domain of Business Intelligence and Big Data hardware and software companies
While both data transport and data analysis pose challenges and are evolving to support IoT needs and have a number of players working to address these challenges, the more difficult problem that will be the long pole in the tent for device manufacturers is the challenge related to data acquisition as it comes in all sizes and colors. Examples include black-box type devices installed in industrial equipment, OBD-II devices installed in cars, body-worn fitness devices, connectivity modules embedded in home appliances etc. Figuring out an effective solution, will be the vital link in making money from IoT.
Flexera's software solutions have been evolving constantly to match the capabilities required by intelligent device manufacturers. A key part of enabling IoT is FlexNet Connect. FlexNet Connect seamlessly enables a two-way communication to provide data acquisition from field devices to back-end systems and software updates from back-end systems to the field devices.
These capabilities along with the importance of licensing and entitlement management solutions which were identified in a recent Gartner Report: Emerging Technology Analysis – Licensing and Entitlement Management the Key to Monetizing the Internet of Things, provide the vital elements for the success of IoT monetization efforts.
With these vital elements in place, as producers of Internet-enabled devices, you will be able to shift from asking, "Do we need to connect it?" or "How do we connect it?" to, "What can we do differently now that it is connected? The answer to which is going to be bridled only by your imagination.