There is a lot of talk about IoT and everyone is trying to figure out some role to play in the IoT space. There are larger companies, smaller start-up, hardware vendors, software vendors and many others in the game and everyone is running in the race but what is in it for everyone? Where is the jackpot? Where is the treasure? That’s a question which I am attempting to answer.
Let us look at the simplest IoT ecosystem. At the centre we have the devices and sensors, that forms the hardware part of the eco-system. On top of the hardware is the software which acts as the first step towards enabling the devices or Things to talk. Now that the devices are capable of talking, network or connectivity is the voice that facilitates the communication. Once the devices along with their software are connected via internet, they become capable of talking to each other. And when the things talk, they generate information or data and mind you, lots of it.
The circle at each stage represents the size of the value they hold in the ecosystem. Data being the biggest circle emerges as the highest value holder in the ecosystem. Ultimately the treasure lies in Big Data and whoever gets hold of this data will be the winner of the IoT treasure hunt.
Who will own the big data and win the money?
Telecom Players: the first contenders in this race of IoT are the telecom players. They own the connectivity so naturally they have the full picture about the data.They can mine this data and become the ultimate winners of this ecosystem. But wait, if only it was so simple. Even though the telecom providers own the big data, they do not have systems capable of analysing and creating context from this data in real time. Currently, they are only being dumb pipe connectivity providers in the eco-system.
Device providers: Wi-Fi modem providers who are launching special IoT-based modems both for home and enterprise usage stand equal chance to lay their hands on the data. It makes them equally strong contenders in the IoT Race. One of the finest examples in this space is Google who has recently launched an On-Hub router for smart homes. Here Google stands a chance to capture all the information about every customer and thus become the ultimate winner.
Big Data owner is the winner!!
Any player who owns the data or the information, that would be generated from the ecosystem will be the winner in this race. Since the ecosystem is still evolving and newer business models being defined, there is a high chance that newer kinds of players might enter who would grab a share of the big data.
If you are still thinking what kind of things to do in the IoT space, big data is the answer. Try to be a player who can capture a share of the data and you might hit the jackpot.