The IoT- and Big Data-Driven Data Analysis Services: KM, Implications and Business Opportunities

The IoT- and Big Data-Driven Data Analysis Services: KM, Implications and Business Opportunities

Izabella V. Lokshina (SUNY Oneonta, Oneonta, USA), Barbara J. Durkin (SUNY Oneonta, Oneonta, USA) and Cees Lanting (DATSA Belgium, Leuven (Kessel-Lo), Belgium)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/IJKM.2018100106

Abstract

Ubiquitous sensing devices, enabled by wireless sensor network (WSN) technologies, cut across every area of modern day living, affecting individuals and businesses and offering the ability to measure and understand environmental indicators. The proliferation of these devices in a communicating-actuating network creates the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT provides the tools to establish a major global data-driven ecosystem with its emphasis on Big Data. Now business models may focus on the provision of services, i.e., the Internet of Services (IoS). These models assume the presence and development of the necessary IoT measurement and control instruments, communications infrastructure, and easy access to the data collected and information generated. Different business models may support potential opportunities to create revenue and value for various types of customers. This article contributes to the literature by considering, for the first time, business models, strategic implications and business opportunities for third-party data analysis services.
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1. Introduction

The much-discussed Internet of Things (IoT) provides a set of tools enabling a major, global data-driven ecosystem to develop devices (or things) encompassing everything from pedometers to seismographs, collect data and produce unprecedented amounts of information about the parameters and items in the world around us. When put in the hands of people and businesses, this information can make every area of life, including business, more data-driven.

Things are not really a new concept. We've been using sensors to collect scientific data for centuries. What's different now is the interconnection of all these devices, producing ever more granular data sets, all while that data is becoming more and more accessible, potentially to everyone. To put that data to work, we need to make sense of it. When massive amounts of data become accessible and understandable, the implications are enormous for civic life, personal health and business.

Until now, much attention and effort have gone in the development of business models for the provision of services in this data-driven ecosystem in the context of the IoT, sometimes referred to as the Internet of Services (IoS). These business models assume the existence and development of the necessary IoT measurement and control instruments, communications infrastructure, and easy access to the data collected and information generated by any party. However, not every business model may support opportunities that generate revenue or value or are suitable for different types of customers. Other business models should also be considered.

In this paper, the authors investigate knowledge-based management practices and business models, strategic implications and business opportunities for third-party data analysis services. The goal is to give a reasonable, qualitative evaluation, from theoretical and practical viewpoints, of knowledge-based management practices and business models, strategic implications and business opportunities for American and European small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that use IoT and Big Data techniques to support their innovative performance.

A discussion of the infrastructure is outside the scope of this paper. The authors assume that a significant time will be needed for deployment. Regulatory clarity and appropriate permissions in addition to possible privacy and national security issues must be addressed.

This paper makes several important contributions to the literature. First, the paper considers knowledge-based management practices and business models, strategic implications and business opportunities for third-party data analysis services. It complements other research about the positive effect of knowledge management on companies’ innovative performance. Second, the paper discusses access to information generated by third parties in a new context of analysis, i.e. as a prerequisite to data analysis services and in relation to Big Data techniques and potential opportunities. Third, the paper evaluates strategic implications for American and European small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that use the IoT in their data-driven ecosystems. It complements prior research about the positive effects of information and communications technology (ICT) tools and competencies on business performance.

Finally, this paper also has some social implications since governments are interested in using the latest technologies to promote the best social climate for their citizens. The paper assumes that an obvious consequence of using the latest technologies will be a broader scope of deliberative democracy. However, the legal framework of the latest technologies is still considered rather vague or absent to a certain extent. Such issues as standardization, service design architecture and models, as well as data privacy and security, create management and governance problems. These issues have not been solved completely by the current service architectures. The latest technologies can also become subject to power politics with the attendant risks of cyberwar, cyberterrorism and cybercriminality.

The current research has several limitations. First, the study of a single context of analysis could reduce and limit the generalizability of results. There is, therefore, a need for additional research to determine whether knowledge management and ICT capabilities play the same role in other high-tech contexts. Second, the research is limited by the choice of companies involved. Further research could document additional quantitative and qualitative examples where SMEs have developed strategic opportunities by providing technical and consulting services to other businesses.

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