I was brought up to believe that the best things in life are not things. A saying that will come under increasing pressure as the future is full of things.
I was recently given a Fitbit, an activity tracker. Initially, I was fairly bemused. I already have a watch and it doesn’t look much like this one. Regardless, this ‘wearable’ has quickly become an obsession. The amount of information my tiny ‘watch’ collects is incredible. This information passes from the device to be viewed on an app on my phone or through a web browser where I can see the data output in little charts. I can view it and absorb the information to my heart’s content.
The volume of wearables people are wearing is already staggering and is set to escalate both in terms of the number and type of devices. If forecasts are right then there is going to be a similar explosion in the amount of information created by the IoT deriving from information that passes from people-to-people (P2P), machine-to-people (M2P), and machine-to-machine (M2M). Data that holds a wealth of opportunity for Big Data Analytics and its monetisation, but also that needs to be secured, with devices protected from external hacks.
CSPs are already starting to see the opportunities that could come from offering premium services by tapping in to the data they collect to fulfil their day-to-day operations.
It’s about creating services that use the knowledge of CSPs' own subscriber and customer usage, geography etc. and use this to customise premium services - services that the user sees as valuable and is willing to pay for. We know the millennials say they want free WiFi. But free isn’t always safe, or high quality, and sometimes security and quality are more important than price (or lack thereof). Combining CSP data with consent data enables you to create truly personalised services.
Of course there will always be obstacles to get over to get ahead of the field. Caution is advised regarding regulatory rules on how and when this data may be used. Data protection could prove to be a major hurdle.
Another stumbling block is the security of personal information. Will this security be left to anti-virus companies, individual device manufacturers or, although unlikely, the CSP themselves? The security side itself could reap huge benefits for anyone who can successfully take on and fulfil this difficult task with some serious conviction. A CSP who is able to differentiate by service security and performance with end -to-end SLAs will without a doubt be able to take a premium and boost their revenues.
Another consideration is the transportation, storage and fast analysis of the data that will increase in volume very rapidly into the next decade. If you are a CSP that has untapped datacentre capacity, a real desire to be the most secure provider and have good analytics will help you steam ahead of the competition.
With careful planning and gaining valuable analytics experience now, CSPs should be able to place themselves in a leading position by the 2020s. A position where they are able to take full advantage of Big Data and help to continually diversify offerings away from vanilla services. This is the agility that CSPs have often been criticised for not possessing. In an ever-increasing ‘on-demand’ society this will be a must. All of this can be done while quickly having the information at hand to help open doors into new and ever-changing revenue streams as they evolve.
Published as part of BossFest16