Trusted partners are key to IoT

IoT will make a major impact on how we do things and what can be done, across industries and borders. Adding things to the internet creates a massive opportunity compared with what the internet has done for us to date.

Magnus Melander, founder and CEO, Wbird
Magnus Melander, founder and CEO, Wbird

The major challenges are as always to be found in organisations and processes, rarely in the technology. However, if we cut the cake differently, and look at it from people making bets on creating and implementing IoT products and services, I would argue that the two biggest challenges are security and privacy. And security is the smaller of these two big ones, says Magnus Melander, founder and CEO, Wbird.

We have always had security challenges, but they can be mitigated and fixed on the go. Fixing bugs and problems are part of the development so to speak. If someone finds a back-door and steal our jewels, we will install a lock on the door and hope people will forget it, if you see what I mean. The vendor of the door takes a hit but people have a tendency to forget quite rapidly.

But with privacy it’s a matter of architecture and trusted partners. If data that at some point in the future is considered sensitive is ‘out there’, it’s too late to take it back. In the digital world nobody knows how many copies there are, who has them, what they use it for, and so on. Most countries have laws and policies for this already, sure, but the first issue is that policy makers probably will shape up rules and policies down the road. Nobody will be badly punished for data that is made available before the changes, obviously, but it might take fundamental changes of systems and services to meet the new policies if the architecture isn’t there already.

The second, and much more difficult challenge is that people themselves might change their views over time on what is acceptable and not. Such changed requirements are neither planned nor managed within countries or companies. They might come and go, spread by social media and gathering few or many people behind. And policy makers are always influenced by public trends, and the media so these ‘unmanaged public policies’ can force rapid legal changes as well.

If your clients suddenly believe that the data they ‘produce’ in their homes or when they shop belongs to them, it will be hard to keep them happy if you don’t let them control it. And even more so if you sell the data to third parties. To let users be in control of their data requires an architecture supporting that – it’s not something hard to add on the go.

I believe connected cars, homes, cities, clothes, pets, shops, bikes, gardens, etc. sooner or later will have to meet privacy requirements from policymakers and people that will be very challenging for those without an architecture to support it. The role of a trusted partner will be absolutely key and for those being trusted it will be a fantastic foundation for creating brand value and profitable business. The jury is out on who can takethis important and valuable role. I believe it is a national player and I put my bet on a responsible mobile operator with a solid brand.

The author of this blog is Magnus Melander, founder and CEO, Wbird.

About the Author:

Magnus Melander is a Swedish entrepreneur and ICT professional with 30 years of international experience. Magnus is the founder and CEO of Wbird, a consulting firm focusing on M2M aka Internet of Things, digital marketing, mobility and M&A. Magnus is the founder of the M2M consulting company B3 Connect Compute (B3CC) and Brandbuilders of Sweden, he serves at the boards of Wbird, Clue, April Systems, Possio and Calazo and he started and manages Swedish M2M Service Enablers to educate the market and promote Swedish M2M companies abroad. Magnus was Partner at BrainHeart Capital, a VC devoted to wireless technologies, which he co-founded 2000 and he is currently adviser to the Wi-Fi company Instabridge, La Yin and the US M&A boutique mSolve Partners.

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