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Rent, don't buy the IoT

The promise of the Internet of Things will pull almost every consumer company to create a networked product line. Ultimately, most companies will offer only networked products.

At that moment (which may come sooner rather than later), consumers won’t have a real opportunity to opt-out. And the likely proliferation of companies and products pursuing fortune in the IoT, will make it a wide, deep and confusing landscape.

In this new world, consumers will face increased pressure to manage effective security and privacy protocols. The more companies from which each consumer buys a product will increase the burden, unless the seamless integration of security and privacy, firmware updates and persistent power supply becomes the responsibility of the company.  What are the odds?

I would suggest that for security and privacy of the Internet of Things to be most effective and consumer confidence to be high is to move to a subscription model. In this way, a consumer is buying a service that can be delivered, monitored and upgraded from a centralized location.

There is often an aversion to creating centralized services as they present a ripe target for hackers. But the value of the IoT that will speed adoption requires that it avoid the catch-as-catch-can security and privacy when the solutions are home made and home maintained.

A subscription model overcomes the need for duct tape and gives consumers comfort enough to allow the trade of data for service.

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