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By James Kobielus (@jameskobielus)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is radically expanding the pool of data available for monetization opportunities.
IoT opens vast new possibilities for monetization of the data that’s sure to stream from everything, everywhere, and everybody at all hours of the day and night. These opportunities may accrue from sensor data that is collected and processed in the aggregate in the IoT’s increasingly ubiquitous “fog computing” cloud environment. Or it may come from microdribbles of valuable data points that originate from the edges of this fog.
Micromonetization is the most tantalizing opportunity when you consider IoT as a mass consumer phenomenon. IoT applications in smartphones, smart security, smart meters, smart cars, smart environmental probes, and so on will traffic in snippets of data that have some monetizable value. As more innovators scratch micro-itches with new IoT devices, apps, analytics, services, and the like, micromonetization opportunities will flourish.
To realize this potential, IoT data monetization needs to be approached from a strategic perspective. When looking for IoT monetization opportunities, consider the following key approaches:
- Direct monetization: To the extent that you own the IoT-sourced microdata, you may consider reselling it in raw, aggregated, refined, and other forms. Before you take the first move, though, you’ll need to clarify whether IoT-sourced microdata really belongs to you. Depending on the application, consumers might own all or some of the data, and your ability to resell or otherwise use it will depend on securing their approval subject to the applicable laws, contracts, and agreements. Offering users financial incentives (even tiny ones) for their online IoT data sharing increases the likelihood can make a huge difference in whether they stay with your brand or offer their data to your competitor instead. All it takes is the right business model that involves keeping the income-producing activities (e.g., advertising) producing enough revenue to keep content suppliers (aka users) from jumping ship.
- Indirect monetization. You may use IoT-sourced microdata to drive business outcomes that generate cash flow or boost your firm’s market valuation. Key approaches in this regard are to indirectly monetize IoT microdata in productization (i.e., incorporation into IoT-connected solutions), targeting (i.e, use IoT data in analytics that improve your engagement with customers and other stakeholders), and/or operations (e.g., use IoT data to identify assets that are not being used to maximum efficiency).
When it comes to direct monetization, IoT will probably not deliver a gusher of green to every business that tries to stake a claim. Instead, it will unleash many streams of sensor-data-driven value, each of which will be suitable for incremental panning. This doesn’t mean that some businesses and consumers won’t derive significant incomes from monetizing IoT data. It’s all a matter of finding the gold-flaked streams, setting up sustainable panning operations, and refining it 24×7.
To make that happen, you’ll need to identify the specific metering, pricing, and collection mechanisms for cashing in on your IoT monetization dreams. In that regard, I recommend this recent Dzone article, which focuses on IoT APIs as a key monetization interface and identifies the various fee structures (setup, fixed monthly, subscription, per transaction, etc.) that may be most feasible in your monetization initiative.
If you’re a bit foggy on where to get started in cashing in on the potential of IoT data, you’re not alone. Just as it took Google and others several years after the Web’s commercial emergence to figure out how to cash in on its advertising potential, it may take several more before we see the world’s first IoT micro-monetization mogul.
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Now that the case between the FBI and Apple has been dropped, is the fight over encryption and backdoors done? Find out why it’s far from over in this week’s roundup.
1. DOJ finds successful iPhone crack; drops backdoor bid, for now – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)
The DOJ found a successful iPhone crack to access the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist’s device and dropped the pending legal action against Apple, but only in that one case.
2. SD-WAN market swells because of cloud-based business apps – Tracee Herbaugh (SearchSDN)
IDC released its first study on the SD-WAN market, which is expected to hit $6 billion by 2020. The boom is driven by the growing popularity of cloud-based business applications.
3. IBM cloud acquisition expands Salesforce consulting – John Moore (SearchCloudProvider)
The latest IBM acquisition aims to unite cloud consultancy Bluewolf and the IBM iX practice to create a larger pool of resources in the Salesforce professional services arena.
4. Microsoft Azure cloud services tuck ops under the covers – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)
New Microsoft Azure cloud services rolled out this week tackle the latest trends for developers around serverless, event-driven computing and microservices.
5. Building data science teams takes skills mix, business focus – Craig Stedman (SearchBusinessAnalytics)
In a panel discussion at Strata + Hadoop World 2016, managers of data science initiatives discussed how to structure and lead teams of data scientists for effective big data analytics.
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Do you agree with Cisco’s reorganization plan? Find out why it might be a wise decision in this week’s roundup.
1. Cisco reorganizing to make engineering more nimble – Antone Gonsalves (SearchNetworking)
The latest Cisco reorganization has divided engineering into four units, each targeting what CEO Robbins has identified as growth areas.
2. Better late than never, Google plants its flag in public cloud market – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)
AWS remains king, but Google Cloud Platform has made strides to offer enterprise IT some enticing features to give it a second look.
3. SDN learning: Blogs to follow today – Eamon McCarthy Earls (SearchSDN)
The software-defined networking blogosphere is a vibrant space, with regular postings from analysts, engineers and programmers. Here are some of the top SDN blogs to follow.
4. Outbreak of ransomware attacks hit hospitals, enterprises – Peter Loshin (SearchSecurity)
A series of ransomware attacks have been reported at hospitals in the U.S. and Canada, leading to experts recommending automated backup for enterprises.
5. Amazon’s cloud faces new challenges in second decade – Trevor Jones (SearchAWS)
AWS turned 10 this month, and for the first time it faces the potential of real competition in a market that promises to be different in its second decade.
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10 years ago, AWS was born. How did it change the IT industry? Find out in this week’s roundup.
1. AWS at 10: How the cloud giant shook up enterprise IT – Caroline Donnelly (ComputerWeekly)
A decade on from the launch of its first cloud service, the UK managing director of Amazon Web Services reflects on its first 10 years in business.
2. Drunk user testing changed HubSpot’s approach to UX research – Jan Stafford (SearchSoftwareQuality)
Giving a drunken UI designer a user test changed HubSpot’s UX research and UI design practices. The results were stunning, said UX designer Austin Knight at the Fluent Conference.
3. Java vulnerability report strains responsible disclosure – Peter Loshin (SearchSecurity)
A security researcher reports Oracle’s 30-month-old failed patch for a Java vulnerability, and experts suggest it was an irresponsible disclosure, despite frustration with Oracle’s patching process.
4. Prepare for a cyberattack on the power grid, Wisconsin officials say – Jason Sparapani (SearchCIO)
The state’s CIO says Americans should take the threat of a prolonged blackout seriously. For an effective response, the public and private sectors need to work together.
5. Network analytics will play a key role for IT managers – Craig Mathias (SearchNetworking)
The enterprise network is transforming with mobility and SDN, and the additional complexity means network analytics has to become a primary tool.
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What was the hot topic at Enterprise Connect last week? Find out why it was all about the cloud in this week’s roundup.
1. Cloud-based technology is hot at Enterprise Connect – Tracee Herbaugh (SearchUnifiedCommunications)
Vendors met in Orlando, Fla., for the annual unified communications-focused Enterprise Connect conference, where cloud-based technology was one of the most discussed topics.
2. March 2016 Patch Tuesday highlights Windows 10 security – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)
Microsoft’s March 2016 Patch Tuesday release has put Windows 10 security on display for good and bad, experts say.
3. Docker Cloud pricing irks Tutum users – Beth Pariseau (SearchCloudComputing)
Beta users of the Tutum platform aren’t happy with a steep price increase, but Docker officials say to stay tuned for further pricing options this year.
4. HPE intros its first open 25 GbE top-of-the-rack switch – Antone Gonsalves (SearchNetworking)
Hewlett Packard Enterprise has released its first 25 GbE top-of-the-rack open switch. The Altoline 6960 joins 10/40/100 GbE switches in the portfolio.
5. Gridstore HyperConverged Appliances prove fail-safe in tests – Garry Kranz (SearchVirtualStorage)
Gridstore’s all-flash HCA cluster suffered an outage during testing with no performance drop, giving the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe fault tolerance and high availability.
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Do you agree with Yoran’s view on cybersecurity and encryption? Find out why he’s backing strong encryption in this week’s roundup.
1. Yoran: Solve cybersecurity challenges with creativity, encryption – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)
Amit Yoran kicked off RSAC 2016 by publicly backing strong encryption, denouncing the ‘going dark’ debate and calling for more creativity in cybersecurity.
2. New UC products and services on display at industry expo – Katherine Finnell (SearchUnifiedCommunications)
Vendors will exhibit their latest UC tools at Enterprise Connect 2016, from team chat apps to virtual collaboration. Check out some of the announcements coming out of the conference.
3. Oracle VSM brings cloud backup to the mainframe – Sonia Lelii (SearchDataBackup)
Oracle upgrades its virtual tape library for the cloud. The Virtual Storage Manager system helps connect traditional mainframe storage to the cloud through tiering.
4. ONUG hosts SDN hackathon to jump-start network automation – Alissa Irei (SearchSDN)
The Open Networking User Group is hosting the first ONUG Grand Challenge Hackathon, with the goal of encouraging the development of new automation applications.
5. Mulling the network impact of the Internet of Things – Eamon McCarthy Earls (SearchNetworking)
This week, bloggers examine the network impact of IoT, tackle RSA Conference priorities and how to use MS Visio for network diagramming.
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Whose side are you on: Apple or the FBI? Check out where the lines are being drawn in this week’s roundup.
1. Lines drawn in iPhone backdoor case; Apple gets backup – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)
The public debate surrounding the iPhone backdoor case heats up; Apple and the FBI clarify their messages; and Apple gets legal support from major tech companies.
2. Spotify moves to Google cloud with eyes on big data – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)
Spotify surprised industry observers by becoming one of the most high-profile cloud customers for Google, which is trying to shake the image that it can’t compete with Amazon and Microsoft.
3. Hybrid cloud benefits outweigh cons, say IBM customers – Robert Gates (SearchDataCenter)
Benefits of a hybrid cloud transition outweigh complex integration challenges, according to IBM execs, users and industry watchers at the company’s annual Interconnect event.
4. Cisco NFV technology targeted at mobile carriers – Antone Gonsalves (SearchNetworking)
Introduced at Mobile World Congress, the latest Cisco NFV technology is an all-in-one package of computing, storage and networking infrastructure.
5. Casado departure not expected to hurt VMware SDN tech plans – Antone Gonsalves (SearchSDN)
SDN pioneer Martin Casado is leaving VMware, and analysts say the departure is unlikely to affect VMware’s SDN tech strategy.
Machine learning image via Shutterstock
By James Kobielus (@jameskobielus)
People will increasingly have to learn how to collaborate with robots in unprecedented situations. And I’m not referring to some “Star Wars” scenario where R2D2 is all that stands between Luke Skywalker and interstellar annihilation.
Machine learning is increasingly powering search-and-rescue scenarios in which intelligent machines—such as drones—team with human agencies, such as the military and police. In the previous sentence, I used the active voice—“team with”—rather than the passive “are controlled by” to signify the fact that the robotic agents will increasingly be capable of autonomous or semi-autonomous capabilities.
This distinction will be increasingly important in emergency response situations in which events unfold too fast for human controllers to make the right decision, but in which the machines might—based on sensor-driven real-time and predictive algorithms—act first to save lives or nip potential catastrophes in the bud. There might even be scenarios where the robots take action first while delaying the communication of selective pieces of information from human team members, or even withhold it entirely, when there’s a significant risk that the people in question might inadvertently jeopardize the desired outcome by misinterpreting or misapplying the information.
What I’ve just sketched out is a human-machine communication scenario that popped into my mind as I read this recent article on an MIT research project that’s applying algorithmic approaches for reducing communications overload in human-robot emergency response teams. Essentially, it uses machine learning to identify when it’s best for rescue robots to suppress some of the chatter they communicate to human collaborators, on the grounds that these communications not only pose a cost on the machines themselves (processing, memory, bandwidth) but also might drown the humans involved in so much informational noise that they’ll have trouble identifying the gist of what they need to do.
In other words, it’s a project that’s developing approaches under which robots might need to operationally divulge information to humans on a “need to know” basis, or, conversely, withhold information. Though the team-effectiveness rationale for this makes perfect sense, it raises an uncomfortable question: In scenarios where robots are using the “need to know” criterion to algorithmically throttle the information they provide to humans, will we ever be able to trust them entirely? Even though their algorithmic hearts may not be lying to us, is their failure to be entirely candid and transparent in all circumstances a trust-killer?
Humans, of course, also engage in “need to know” communication throttling under similar circumstances. But that doesn’t always destroy the mutual trust that’s essential to team effectiveness. Recognizing this, the researchers have used machine learning to find communication-throttling patterns within 100 percent human teams engaging in equivalent (albeit virtual) rescue missions. They will use the results to build the interaction logic that guides robots in these same scenarios.
But the fact that some robots will be capable of autonomous operation means that they will have the power, under pre-programmed circumstances, to act first, perhaps without asking for explicit permission, and then explain their actions later. What that will mean operationally is that we’re creating a world where, under some emergency circumstances, our robotic team members may briefly have more knowledge than we do about what’s going on, even though we’ve programmed them for total candor.
There may simply be no time for them to explain or ask permission when lives are hanging in the balance. And if they had to wait for us to comprehend the urgency of the situation, those lives may be lost.
We will need to trust them to do the right thing and then report back to us when the situation has stabilized.
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Why are more data centers moving to Canada instead of staying in the United States? Find out in this week’s roundup.
1. Privacy, power concerns drive Canadian data center growth – Robert Gates (SearchDataCenter)
One U.S. city has more data center space than all of Canada, but some data centers are being lured up to the ‘True North’ by inexpensive power and privacy concerns in the U.S.
2. OpenStack adoption stays niche with new deployment prospects – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)
To boost OpenStack adoption, the open source project continues to push into new areas. But are disparate projects and users’ competing needs creating friction in the community?
3. RSA Conference 2016 preview: IoT and encryption take center stage – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)
The Internet of Things once again dominates the agenda at RSA Conference 2016, but experts say there will be other hot topics, including the growing debate between IT and the government over encryption backdoors.
4. Largest paint producer in U.S. eliminates work voicemail – Tracee Herbaugh (SearchUnifiedCommunications)
The largest paint producer in the U.S. eliminated work voicemail for roughly 800 employees at its corporate office because of declining popularity among workers.
5. Cisco next-generation firewall marks improvements – Eamon McCarthy Earls (SearchNetworking)
The Cisco next-generation firewall, Cisco FirePower, deploys improvements to make the system more ‘threat-focused.’
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Are you surprised Verizon is shutting down its public cloud offering? Find out what happened in this week’s roundup.
1. Verizon Cloud joins casualty list amid public IaaS exodus – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)
Two years after launching Verizon Cloud with lofty ambitions, Verizon this week quietly told customers it plans to shut down its public cloud offering.
2. Study: IT staff pressured to buy useless cybersecurity products – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)
A new study found that IT managers feel pressured to purchase new cybersecurity products even if they don’t have the skills to implement the technology properly.
3. Cisco earnings show slowdown in data center tech buying – Antone Gonsalves (SearchNetworking)
Besides higher revenue and profits, Cisco earnings also showed that volatility in the global markets had caused tech buyers to reduce spending in the data center.
4. President: We’re moving VCE converged infrastructure up the stack – Ed Scannell and Robert Gates (SearchDataCenter)
IT pros increasingly want to buy infrastructure and not build it, says president of VCE Chad Sakac, as he outlines plans for the company’s converged infrastructure products.
5. Veritas Enterprise Vault updated after Symantec sell off – Carol Sliwa (SearchStorage)
Veritas Technologies updated Enterprise Vault and Data Insight with enhanced classification, review and workflow capabilities and beefed-up Box support.