The Internet of Things holds great promise and, in some cases, has already delivered significant efficiencies and process optimizations for innovators and early adopters. Beyond productivity improvements and cost efficiencies, the IoT may offer something entirely new to certain companies – revenue.  Through collecting vast amounts of IoT sensor data, companies could generate new forms of proprietary value. Companies with a large network of IoT sensors, who occupy specific industries and hold exclusive access to the data, could sell it as a new revenue stream.

There are two immediate challenges that emerge with this new revenue models: (1) selling data is outside the core competency of most companies. For example, would a large winery possess the competencies to sell its data to third-party companies? (2) selling data associated with individuals could run into privacy issues especially that covered under the new GDPR rules enforceable in May 2018. For example, fitness-tracking companies that gather personal fitness data would require careful attention to data privacy issues if they pursued this revenue stream.

It seems the first challenge is being solved through the emergence of online marketplaces. One such example is  DataBroker DAO  which is a blockchain-based platform that provides an open, distributed and decentralized marketplace for the buying, selling and sharing of the Internet of Things sensor data. With much of the IoT sensor data locked up in organizational data silos and walled gardens it often isn’t directly accessible to people who may be in need of that information. DataBroker DAO connects to networks and uses a defined protocol to transmit information from these networks.

By leveraging a marketplace, companies without the in-house competency for selling data and rely on a third-party. The data made available can not only create a new revenue stream for the data collection company but also enable new businesses to form from bringing new insights and actions from the data.  It’s an interesting opportunity, especially for traditional industries, where old-school meets new school to create new revenue streams never before available.

Also published on Medium.

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