Device Manufacturers Need LEM Solutions to Monetize Their Software via the IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) is turning many manufacturers of "things" into first-time software vendors that need licensing and entitlement management (LEM) solutions, according to Gartner, Inc. By shifting product value from device hardware to the software running on the device and applying an appropriate licensing strategy, manufacturing product strategists can maximize revenue potential.
"The IoT is creating a new type of software vendor for whom LEM is vital to protect, differentiate and monetize their offerings," said Laurie Wurster, research director at Gartner. "We expect that by 2020, a failure to put in place a LEM system will result in a 20 percent drop in potential revenue generated from software for device manufacturers connecting to the IoT."
The issue is that many makers of "things" still apply a traditional "box" mentality to products and do not consider the extra revenue opportunities of licensing-controlled embedded software and applications. Most of these companies are first-time software providers, mainly device manufacturers and OEMs that can now monetize their software as well as the devices via the IoT. For these companies, the IoT represents a significant market opportunity.
"By monetizing the software on their devices, these vendors will be able to increase and drive recurring revenue streams, creating billions of dollars of additional value, said Ms. Wurster. "For example, with an estimated 25-plus billion 'things' in the marketplace, and if manufacturers are able to collect an average of $5 for software from each of these installed units, that translates to additional revenue estimated at $130 billion."
For the foreseeable future, the IoT will drive business transformation for many device manufacturers, enabling them to use software on the device to differentiate product and solution offerings. Like vendors in the traditional software industry, device manufacturers need to protect and monetize the intellectual property (IP) contained in applications. They can do this by adopting LEM systems that control access to the Internet-connected device, its functions and its features. LEM also enables flexible pricing and packaging, allowing manufacturers to bundle product features, capabilities and capacities, ensure payment, provide verified upgrade paths and create new revenue streams.
"By controlling product functionality and the features and capacities of Internet-connected devices via flexible licensing, device manufacturers will be better able to compete in current and new markets. They will also be able to come to market quicker with new products, new feature combinations and product enhancements," said Ms. Wurster. "Moreover, software-controlled configuration gives manufacturers more flexibility to regionalize their offerings and develop niche solutions for specific markets without having to manufacture separate product stock keeping units (SKUs). Overall, this reduces the number of SKUs produced, lowering overall manufacturing costs while enhancing manufacturers' ability to customize and regionalize products."
Gartner research indicates that the vast majority of device manufacturers do not have, or have yet to implement, commercial LEM systems to monetize the IoT. This is because, historically, they had little or no software IP to protect. Initially, they will look to build LEM capabilities in-house as they already have a technical and engineering background that developed the hardware, and they often believe that these internal resources can also build an efficient LEM system.
"For some, recognizing the need for a LEM solution is a viable first step. However, manufacturers are starting to question the wisdom of diverting high-value resources to developing and maintaining LEM systems," said Ms. Wurster. "As the need to scale and react quickly to changing market conditions increases, manufacturers may eventually start to buy packaged solutions. Providers of commercial products continue to broaden their set of capabilities and invest in support for new licensing models. This makes these solutions an attractive alternative for device manufacturers that do not want to build and maintain in-house LEM software."
More detailed analysis is available in the report "Market Trends: Move Beyond Homegrown Licensing and Entitlement as the IoT Creates New Revenue for Software," "Competitive Landscape: License and Entitlement Management for 'Things' in the Internet of Things" and "Emerging Technology Analysis: Software Licensing and Entitlement Management Is the Key to Monetizing the Internet of Things." These reports are part of the Gartner Special Report "The Internet of Things Enables Digital Business," a research collection focused on how the Internet of Things will create new opportunities and challenges for enterprises.
Trends in IoT will be discussed at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015, October 4-8 in Orlando, Florida. More information on the event is available at www.gartner.com/us/symposium. Members of the media can register for the event by contacting Christy Pettey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo
Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and other senior IT executives. This event delivers independent and objective content with the authority of the world's leading IT research and advisory organization, and provides access to the latest solutions from key technology providers. Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of attendees' annual planning efforts. IT executives rely on these events to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to overcome business challenges and improve operational efficiency.
Additional information from the event will be shared on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Gartner_inc and using #GartnerSYM.
Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015 include:
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior information technology (IT) leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to supply chain professionals, digital marketing professionals and technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to clients in more than 11,000 distinct enterprises. Gartner works with clients to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual roles. Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has almost 9,000 associates, including 1,900 research analysts and consultants, operating in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.