In a previous blog on Cloud Services Brokerage (CSB), I promised to return briefly to the topic of CSB monetization. The term CSB can refer to both to the activity of brokering cloud services, or to the software application (or suite of applications) used to manage that activity. The activity of brokering cloud services can be carried out within an enterprise, as an internal support function, or performed as a paid-for service by a third party. So just to be clear, the discussion in today’s blog is all about the monetization of CSB as a service when provided by a CSB service provider.
In my last post, we learned that services are only like products if you are willing to oversimplify them. And if you oversimplify them, you can miss out on business opportunities. Services (actions supported by things) differ in several important ways from products (things supported by actions). While product options are generally well-defined up front by the manufacturer, customers for services want to mix and match pieces of different services and essentially create their own new service. The definition of the service can easily become fuzzier and fuzzier as you serve more customers. Customers know that customizing a mass-produced product is a challenge, but they think, surely it’s easy to fine-tune a service. It doesn’t come pre-formed in a box, after all.
As we move closer toward everything-as- a-service (XaaS), the title “Internet of Agents” seems to fit what is really happening. Agents are systems and devices that sense what is going on, and they exchange information with and act on behalf of other agents and people in ways that ultimately result in useful services being performed.
In my last blog, I discussed how the Internet of Things is really developing into what can more accurately be called the Internet of Agents. These connections and multi-agent systems are resulting in an increasing number of highly applicable, value-added bundled and branded services. The latest Gartner forecast for Internet of Things predicts that by 2020 there will be $309 billion in incremental revenue opportunity for IoT suppliers, mostly in services.
Machine-to-machine (M2M) technology and the resulting Internet of Things are leading us inexorably toward everything-as-a-service (XaaS). As more things get connected, the range of service opportunities expands. And as those services are presented online, they become available for use, re-use and re-purposing.