It’s 2021 and the Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer the new and shiny toy. The “things” are ubiquitous and becoming ever more so by the day. Today, we are talking about data and data security, but this subject is still in its infancy.
Access for all?
By 2025 there will be 55+ billion devices, 75% of which will be connected to an IoT platform and the way in which data will be secured, produced, provisioned, and leveraged is still very much up for debate. Who will deploy the devices and who will control the data? Will they be perpetually and habitually closed loop systems or will we see ‘infrastructure as a service’ providers install sensors everywhere to allow a funnel of paid access to any innovator who wants to build on the data? There are cases to be made for these to be public goods, almost like utilities.
As Tom Snyder, executive director at RIoT recently told us in an episode of Next Matters Most, “Data is like oil drilling. When a driller finds a rich spot, they keep it for themselves until it’s dry. The scary thing is whoever owns more user data, can ultimately decide who gets that information; do they keep it to themselves or share it with others?”
Business Model Innovation
When new technologies haven’t been tested, there’s an understandable reluctance to accept their widespread use. But instead, let’s change the way we think about how we use those technologies to innovate.
Think of a building. A building is an asset because it generates rent, but what if it could generate data that could be rented, leased, sold, or used? Assets can have more assets once they are data enabled. There are a number of infrastructure types of data and IoT investments that, once companies figure out the model, will start to spread like wildfire and we will see a parabolic acceleration in the space.
“Soon people and companies will realize their data has value, and in most cases, it’ll be good to offer it as open-source or free use because of the value it can bring to upcoming or current communities,” said Snyder.
With the massive amounts of data that IoT is able to both produce and capture; the possibilities are limitless. But as with all things, we must be both willing to take a chance on the unknown to find out exactly what we’re able to do with it and do so responsibly to ensure personal information is securely stored.