Much has been written extolling the virtues of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is perhaps the most hyped connected environment since the Internet itself. We are already aware that the software embedded in intelligent devices, as well as the data shared between those devices, is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity. While technologists across the board are seeing the inherent benefits in developing innovative new products and services for the IoT, relatively little is known about the actual money-making aspect. Along with the need to protect intellectual property (IP) against hackers – a particular concern in cloud-connected environments – software monetization is the biggest challenge facing players in the IoT.

The Age of the Intelligent Device

IoT devices are capable of delivering unprecedented levels of insight to device manufacturers. Data generated by tiny, low-cost sensors that live inside the hardware inform device manufacturers which features customers are actively using and which are less popular, so they know where to invest their R&D efforts. Moreover, it enables them to tap into new markets by offering a wide range of consumption-based pricing models, such as pre-pay and post-pay, to suit every budget and user requirement. Sensor data is also incredibly valuable in helping device manufacturers optimize the “health” of their devices. Predictive maintenance, as it is known, allows them to anticipate and proactively deal with technical issues before they become a hindrance, keeping maintenance costs low and improving the user experience.

In order to monetize the IoT, businesses – whether providers of on-premise software, SaaS, intelligent devices, or IoT solutions – must be prepared to adapt their offerings to meet the changing needs of the market. The best way to do this is by implementing a comprehensive software monetization solution that allows them to offer flexible license models, track and control usage, and manage user entitlements. Such a solution gives businesses the ability to evolve with the market, ensuring profitability now and in the future.

Monetize Like a Pro

Businesses that choose to build a homegrown solution invariably end up having to shoulder significant upfront and ongoing maintenance costs, as well as the challenges of integrating it with their existing back-office systems. A much more preferable option is to entrust your software licensing and IP protection to a company whose core competency is helping software vendors and device manufacturers maximize the potential of their software. Gemalto has been doing this for over 30 years. Its award-winning range of Sentinel monetization solutions enables you to flexibly control your software at the feature level, while preventing revenue loss through robust IP protection. And with the usage insight you gain from data collection, it’s easier to make business-critical decisions, such as how to package and price your offering for maximum returns.

Just as early prospectors wouldn’t show up to a gold rush without the proper mining equipment, software vendors and device manufacturers must equip their businesses with a proper software monetization solution that’s capable of extracting the gold in the IoT.