Balancing walled garden and open platform approaches for the Internet of Things : A case study of Husqvarna Group
Abstract: The term “Internet of Things” (IoT) was first introduced by a technology pioneer Kevin Ashton in 1999.Although the term is relatively new, the idea of making networks and computers communicate in order totrack and manage devices has been around for many years. As of now IoT is a rising topic in technicalcommunity. Some specialists are anticipating that by 2025 there will be around 100 billion connected IoTdevices with a worldwide economic impact of more than $11 trillion. On the other hand, Internet of Thingsemerges significant challenges. Currently the organization around world use two main approaches whenentering the IoT market. First one is an open platform and is represented by interoperability andcollaboration with devices from different vendors. Second one is a closed platform, or a “walled garden”approach. A “walled garden” approach is characterized by building “fences” around the user. In other words,the service provider has control over applications, content and media and also restricts the non-approvedcontent to reach the customer. Therefore, the research set out to explore these approaches and show thebenefits and limits they can have on an organization. The research was conducted in collaboration with aSwedish manufacturer of outdoor power products called Husqvarna Group. In order to fully acknowledgethe organization’s approach, 4 interviews were conducted with managers, back end developers andconsultants hired by Husqvarna Group. From the findings, some things should be taken in consideration.First, IoT involves big data being collected, therefore security and privacy are crucial when developingdevices and systems. Second, it is essential for an organization to have the same views when taking a newdirection. Third, when discussing Internet of Things, it means that things connect, devices to sensors,sensor to gateways and gateways to system. And there shouldn’t be a delimitation from a vendor to another.Therefore, open platform approach is seen as the way to diversity and innovation.
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