So you think IoT is free?

Simon Rust, head of Product management, Snow Software

Any attention paid to the big tech events, such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) or Mobile World Congress, confirms that the take up and potential for IoT (Internet of Things) are both on steep upward trajectories.

This growth impacts a number of different areas, says Simon Rust of Snow Software. The Internet of Things is a convergence of hardware, software and services, often from different vendors or providers involved in a complicated chain of service delivery. The service providers are enabling growth by connecting things, but any company is now a potential ‘IoT company’. Because connected devices need all three elements – hardware, software and connectivity – providers are starting to span multiple product categories and blurring the lines between themselves ever further.

IoT in practice

Supply chain visibility is one example of IoT from a business perspective. Connectivity of vehicles, warehouses, shops and even handheld devices specific to these organisations create an instant, up to date picture of what’s going on in the business. Every device updates the SAP or Oracle database, for example, to keep the information fresh. Two-way exchange of information lets businesses become more agile.

In the consumer sphere, devices are being built into everyday tasks. Smart watches, for example, can accomplish many different functions. Bespoke health applications can track our activity, or we can see Outlook messages or iChats. This applies to devices on our wrists, but also to a range of quick-access interfaces.

The challenge is that companies are often so concerned with connecting gadgets that they don’t consider what adding them to the IoT actually involves.

Every time a warehouse connected device accesses a database, or every time a smartwatch links into a communications platform, these devices affect the license agreements with those vendors.

Right now, the vendors are in the early stages of properly monetising the IoT. Enterprise software publishers such as SAP, Oracle and IBM are starting to create and enforce pricing models to accommodate this explosion of devices accessing or benefiting from their software, but it’s the tip of a very large iceberg.

We can be certain someone will be made to pay for the extra licensing, the big question mark is over who that will be. Organisations throughout the supply chain of services are channelling data. Is the company who’s directly accessing the database the user? Or is it the company delivering data to the connected device? Or is it even the consumer? Who is responsible for paying for the database access?

Who counts as a user?

Anyone who indirectly consumes data from a database will increasingly be seen (by the software publishers) as a user. The big question will be exactly how do they sit within the existing license? A more complicated issue relates to twice removed users – those who consume data via a service provider, who is drawing from an Oracle database, for instance. There are still some areas in which licensing agreements could change and companies need to be ready.

In reality, many, many organisations could already face unexpected results from an audit if they don’t pay attention to this expansion of data consumption. The only solution is to act now and get a clear view of who is using what. Which devices are active and consuming data? And are they necessary devices?

When you consider that 20 billion devices could be active within five years, keeping track of everything needs an automated, coordinated approach from the centre of the business out to its farthest reaches. Manage the software licenses that you have and retain control of any new devices wanting to pull data. This will help to prepare for the inevitable onslaught of additional software licensing rules. Vendors are dreaming them up, right now.

The author is Simon Rust, head of Product management at Snow Software.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow

FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more
RECENT ARTICLES

Silicon Labs brings AI and Machine Learning to the edge with matter-ready platform

Posted on: January 24, 2022

AUSTIN, TX. 24 January 2022 – Silicon Labs, a specialist in secure, intelligent wireless technology for a more connected world, announced the BG24 and MG24 families of 2.4 GHz wireless SoCs for Bluetooth and Multiple-protocol operations, respectively, and a new software toolkit. This new co-optimised hardware and software platform will help bring AI/ML applications and

Read more

The chaos of legacy equipment

Posted on: January 24, 2022

Legacy equipment is vital to the functioning of many manufacturing facilities. Nevertheless, with rapid advancement in automated and connected technologies, managing both new and old equipment simultaneously can be a challenging balancing act. Here Johan Jonzon, CMO and co-founder specialist in edge analytics for the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Crosser, shares insight into how

Read more