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The Internet of Risky Things by Sean Smith

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Chapter 7. Business, Things, and Risks

The business case necessary for IoT deployment may not necessarily align with IoT safety.

Deploying the IoT requires scale: lots of devices, distributed broadly. Given the capitalist slant of international society today, the actors who will make such deployment happen will be business entities, acting only when they see some business advantage. This central role of business entities and motivations will shape how the IoT unfolds. This chapter considers some of the resulting risks to society. The profit motivation:

  • Can have direct risks for end users

  • Can have privacy risks

  • Can lead to arguably worse technology choices

How the IoT Changes Business

When discussing computer science aspects of the IoT, one often needs to say what’s different. How does this new thing change the game? The same question should be asked when it comes to discussing the business aspects of the IoT.

Disrupting Business Operations

Over the last two years, the Harvard Business Review published a nice set of articles examining how the IoT changes traditional business operations. Looking at IoT and competition in 2014, Porter and Heppelmann stressed the advantage of the IoT technology stack: product linking to connectivity linking to the product cloud. Backend analytics on this aggregate data provides competitive advantages. This stack changes what businesses do [19]:

This opens the door to new competitors, such as the “productless” OnFarm, which is successfully ...

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