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Four essential characteristics of a cloud-based IoT monetization engine

Internet of things solutions are constantly evolving and producing massive amounts of data at an unprecedented rate. In order for these products or services to be successful, they require a cloud-based monetization engine to handle the avalanche of information that IoT provides. But while most billing applications these days claim to be cloud-based, not all “clouds” are created equal.

So how can companies ensure that they are marrying their IoT initiatives with cloud-based billing engines that drive meaningful ROI over the long term? Here are four essential characteristics every company should consider:

1. Monetization from the start

In 2016, it was apparent that the monetization of IoT still tended to be near the bottom of a company’s IoT checklist. Still focused on IoT hardware, many companies had been fixated on how to bring their smart devices to market rather than how to make money off these products over the long term. The ability to quickly integrate and adapt IoT-specific business models is set to reach a major tipping point in 2017. To ensure that an IoT-device will not just be profitable months from now — but also years from now — a monetization model needs to be at the forefront of a company’s IoT plan. By doing so, organizations will be better suited to articulate ROI on an initiative and understand how it impacts the entire business.

2. Elasticity

Most IoT solutions are inherently elastic. With sensors everywhere, companies can see huge spikes in event volumes. As IoT solution providers monetize these events, they need a solution that easily adapts to these demands. This is where the elastic cloud comes in. An elastic cloud architecture dynamically monitors system demand against current capacity, automatically adjusting system resources to address demand. The beauty of this solution is that it allows companies using cloud solutions to only pay for what they consume when they consume it. There’s one catch: just because something is hosted in the cloud, does not mean it is engineered to leverage the benefits of elastic compute. As IoT companies evaluate solutions, they need to make sure they’re only paying for what they need.

3. Configurable/extensible

The only certainty in business is that business will change. Translate that into requirements for a billing solution — companies need to rely on a solution that will be adaptable and flexible to their business. In evaluating cloud solutions, some service providers will offer you a “black box” solution that requires a company to adapt its business to the black box capabilities. These solutions are typically cheaper and can be implemented faster. Unfortunately, these solutions are unable to adapt to most businesses as they grow and become increasingly more complex. Ideally, a cloud-based solution should offer 90% or greater “out-of-the-box functionality” and provide a highly configurable and extensible product that allows for the solution to continually evolve and adapt to a company’s needs.

4. Technology abstraction

Like death and taxes, technology evolution is inevitable. It’s been happening for decades and isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The question is, how can companies prepare for what’s ahead? When deploying a monetization platform, consider a solution that is not dependent on one technology platform, one ecosystem or one provider. Seek out a billing platform that is cloud-agnostic, for example. This allows a business to have geographic flexibility and the ability to work across all providers such as Amazon Web Services, GE Predix, IBM Bluemix and others. In this model, companies are given the diversification and abstraction from technology allowing them to rest well knowing their solution will not vanish.

In summary, it’s important for businesses to know what to look for when making mission-critical infrastructure decisions that will last the test of time. Being able to identify and define the key characteristics of a cloud-based monetization engine will help ensure that a business is set up for success for not just today, but for years to come.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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How much of your workday is wasted on email?
the majority of my day is spent reading, writing or reviewing emails so I don't consider it a waste of time!
This is just "wasted" time; email still provides more productivity gain than waste during most of my day.
As my total communication is thro' email, there is no alternative...
Our organization uses the InboxMind system from Messagemind (www.messagemind.com) to automatically prioritize email in our Inboxes, regardless of whether the Inbox is in Outlook, iOS, or BlackBerry. Email is initially prioritized based on historical email behavior; the prioritization algorithms refine their understanding of the user's priorities by observing the user's behavior as he/she works in the Inbox.

Thanks to InboxMind, I still spend a good deal of time working with email, but I do not 'waste' time searching for those items that are truly important.
There is significant attention being paid to the symptoms of email overload in the media. We thank you here at Messagemind for highlighting the root cause of the enterprise email overload problem and how to address changes in organizational culture and user behavior through proper education and metrics on overall productivity impact, resulting in real money for the company.

IT controls on who can access mailing lists, limiting size of attachments, etc. though important for avoiding IT resource misuse, do not address the core issues behind the email overload problem. Organizations need to understand the distinction between too much email and email created from 'fat finger' events. Organizations also need to realize there is a lack of analysis on the problem, entirely.

E-mail overload is a complex problem that touches different parts of an organization each of which may have goals that conflict with the other. As mentioned in the article, individual workers do not like to be constrained by IT. A solution that balances competing needs can be found in technology that automatically prioritizes email based on individual actions and at the same time provides analytics about email activity and productivity accessible at the individual and group level. At the same time, privacy concerns can be administered to meet individual, corporate and compliance requirements.

Our company recently conducted an email overload impact study for a global Fortune 500 company and gathered metrics on employee’ email behaviors around important and unimportant e-mails and how employee actions impact organizational productivity and overall business-related decision cycles. Based on the data we captured, the management is formulating customized plans and constantly monitoring the data to see what is working effectively or not in terms of email management and fine tuning internal e-mail related plans accordingly.

Like any other business, managers and users need facts and analytics to better understand “why, what and where” and then decide “how” to best address a problem. Applying a “one-solution-fits-all” approach or making decisions without any visibility can very well run the risk of, as you nicely explained in your article, “employees feeling like just another arbitrary way their corporate overlords impeding workflow without any true transparency or understanding of their business problem.
Email is a socially acceptable way to avoid doing something more important (more important=using your brain). Yes, I also get the refrigerator cleaning schedule email and the like. Very few emails require any action or provide meaningful information.