Jamie Longmuir, Regional Director, Software Monetisation, Gemalto, gives insight on how businesses can take advantage on the number of opportunities brought by IoT.
Much has been written extolling the virtues of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is perhaps the most hyped connected environment since the Internet itself. We are already aware that the software embedded in intelligent devices, as well as the data shared between those devices, is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity. While technologists across the board are seeing the inherent benefits in developing innovative new products and services for the IoT, relatively little is known about the actual money-making aspect. Along with the need to protect intellectual property (IP) against hackers – a particular concern in cloud-connected environments – software monetisation is the biggest challenge facing players in the IoT.
The drive towards Smart Cities in Dubai is being powered by IoT, putting the emirate at the forefront of innovation, with an avant-garde vision for the importance of the IoT industry, which presents plenty of monetisation opportunities in the UAE. For instance, the mobile penetration rate is over 200 percent and there will be more than 16.8 million active mobile subscribers by 2016, while the levels of data consumption generated are expected to escalate by Expo 2020. Nowadays, around 8.81 million are active internet users, which represent 92 percent of the population. Furthermore, 80 percent of these users access internet through their mobiles and by 2017 the number of mobile internet users in UAE is expected to reach 90 percent.
Therefore, the regional adoption of IoT will continue to surpass global growth, as governments and enterprises continue to actively invest in smart city developments across the Middle East. So how can businesses take advantage of this wealth of opportunities?
The age of the intelligent device
IoT devices are capable of delivering unprecedented levels of insight to device manufacturers. Data generated by tiny, low-cost sensors that live inside the hardware inform device manufacturers which features customers are actively using and which are less popular, so they know where to invest their R&D efforts. Moreover, it enables them to tap into new markets by offering a wide range of consumption-based pricing models, such as pre-pay and post-pay, to suit every budget and user requirement. Sensor data is also incredibly valuable in helping device manufacturers optimise the “health” of their devices. Predictive maintenance, as it is known, allows them to anticipate and proactively deal with technical issues before they become a hindrance, keeping maintenance costs low and improving the user experience.
In order to monetise the IoT, businesses – whether providers of on-premise software, SaaS, intelligent devices, or IoT solutions – must be prepared to adapt their offerings to meet the changing needs of the market. The best way to do this is by implementing a comprehensive software monetisation solution that allows them to offer flexible license models, track and control usage, and manage user entitlements. Such a solution gives businesses the ability to evolve with the market, ensuring profitability now and in the future.
Monetise like a pro
Businesses that choose to build a home-grown solution invariably end up having to shoulder significant upfront and ongoing maintenance costs, as well as the challenges of integrating it with their existing back-office systems. A much more preferable option is to entrust your software licensing and IP protection to a company whose core competency is helping software vendors and device manufacturers maximise the potential of their software. Software monetisation solutions enable you to flexibly control your software at the feature level, while preventing revenue loss through robust IP protection. And with the usage insight you gain from data collection, it’s easier to make business-critical decisions, such as how to package and price your offering for maximum returns.
Just as early prospectors wouldn’t show up to a gold rush without the proper mining equipment, software vendors and device manufacturers must equip their businesses with a proper software monetisation solution that’s capable of extracting the gold in the IoT.