The Business Models of Internet of Things Application Enablement Platforms
School of Business | Master's thesis
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Information and Service Management (ISM)
AbstractThe Internet of Things (IoT) is the next phase in the evolution of the internet, where everyday objects are connected to the internet, and obtain the capacity to communicate with other devices and sense their environment. It is an important phenomenon, which not only has drastic ramifications for the business world, but for everyday life as well. However, there is a lack of literature covering IoT business models, i.e. how different applications of IoT can be transformed into ways of creating, delivering and capturing value. This thesis reviews previous research on IoT business models, and addresses the research gap by examining the business models of IoT application enablement platforms. IoT application enablement platforms have a crucial role within IoT as the middleware that connects the devices to applications and enterprise IT systems. The business models of IoT application enablement platforms are studied through qualitative interview research, which allowed the discovery of the most important elements of these business models. These elements were found through an inquiry into the most important business model building blocks and their respective types, which are the sub-elements inside each building block. Furthermore, the findings are juxtaposed with previous research about the business models of generic IoT applications. This comparison shows how the business models of IoT application enablement platforms differ from those that have been developed around generic IoT applications. The thesis also describes the theoretical implications, which pertain to previous research about IoT, and other auxiliary phenomena. The results of the study show the business model building blocks and types, which are the most important for the business models of IoT application enablement platforms. Furthermore, the differences between the business models of IoT application enablement platforms and generic IoT applications are reviewed. The study finds that value propositions and customer relationships are the most important building blocks for the business models of both IoT application enablement platforms and generic IoT applications. Furthermore, the business models of the two are mostly dissimilar as there are few types, which are important for the business models of both IoT application enablement platforms and generic IoT applications. While further research into IoT business models is needed, IoT practitioners can utilize the findings of this study as a reference for how an IoT business model can be configured.
Thesis advisorRossi, Matti
Internet of Things, business models, platforms, technology