Why the fight over IoT data is just getting started

A quick dive into the world of the IoT reveals the true value of its data, and shows that this new industry is only just getting started.

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As the social and financial buzz around the IoT continues to grow, many savvy executives and eager entrepreneurs alike are chasing IoT investment opportunities with high expectations. In this investing frenzy, few things have garnered more attention that IoT data and its business applications, and for good reason. In big data, investors from all over the world have found their next digital gold mine.

So how exactly is the fight for control over lucrative IoT data playing out, and who are its biggest movers and shakers? How can companies small and large alike benefit from IoT data, and is this valuable resource really worth all of the hubbub it ceaselessly generates? A quick dive into the world of the IoT reveals the true value of its data, and shows that this new industry is only just getting started.

The heart of the IoT

While the very name of the Internet of Things implies that it’s value stems from the “things” – those handheld gadgets and innumerable digital devices and sensors which physically make up the IoT – the reality is that it’s data which is driving the IoT’s astounding cultural and financial impact. Wise investors realize that the physical devices which give the IoT form are only its physical body, while the data that runs through these devices acts as the vital blood and nutrients which powers and gives life to it.

The innovative companies who have realized that it’s data, not gadgets, which drive the IoT forward are already cashing in on their early understanding of one of the most lucrative market forces of our time. Behemoths like Google and Amazon, for instance, enjoy the gargantuan profits they do not because they sell consumers devices like smart phones or home assistants, but because of the data those devices collect on their customers, which can then be sold for a hefty fee to advertisers and influencers.

Those companies which do rely on the physical side of the IoT still find a treasure trove of value in its data, too. Using IoT data to analyze your how your products perform, for instance, is an increasingly common cost-saving measure, and data can be used by firm’s marketing and advertising departments to better identify potential customers for their physical products.

The IoT’s data has also given birth to an entire industry needed to support such massive troves of information, as well. Massive databanks and more developed IT infrastructure are all necessary for the IoT to survive and thrive, meaning companies and innovators who identify new and better ways to store, sort, and distribute data are now having a bigger impact on the market than ever before. As the IoT continues to grow at its breakneck pace, these data-gurus will need to keep pace if the system is to continue running.

New data mindsets

The valuable dollars in customer’s pockets aren’t the only thing data-minded IoT companies and exploiters are after, either. Today’s firms are increasingly mindful about consumer’s privacy concerns, too. By properly managing consumer’s data – such as by clamping down on security gaps or ensuring better customer privacy – a new cottage industry of IoT security and privacy has sprouted up.

Consumer’s increasingly don’t want to share their data, though it’s being used in greater amounts than ever before. This means that the fight over the IoT’s data – specifically, who gets control over it and how they can manipulate it once they own it – is only entering its infancy. It’s up to today’s IoT trailblazers to set adequate data standards, if they intend to ride this phenomenon to the bank for years to come.

The argument over ownership and control over IoT data is no small debate. Lacking comprehensive standards and offering mind-bogglingly large sums of money to potential exploiters, the IoT’s data market is ripe for corporate conquest and private ownership. Yet is that what consumers and watchdogs want?

Today’s customers have shown time and time again that they’re willing to pay top dollar for devices and services, such as ICO rating, which collect their data in more ethical and transparent ways. Furthermore, a growing number of private citizens and government officials alike are starting to look at the monopolized control of IoT data and recognizing it as a problem. If IoT leaders want to keep their unfettered access to the cash cow that is IoT data, they’ll need to start working more with regulators and make the necessary sacrifices to keep data secure and private.

The destiny of the IoT and the data that runs through its digital veins is far from determined; the IoT’s early pioneers and its latest innovators alike will need to keep it in top shape and in-line with consumer and regulatory expectations. Those who want to shape the market of tomorrow should get started now, and dive into the battle over IoT data before they’re locked out from it.

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