Personal data: the energy powering the digital transformation and the shift from products to services
The digital transformation
Those changes result from :
· the introduction of new technologies linked to
→ Artificial Intelligence (e.g. smart robots)
→ Big data (e.g. predictive behaviour of customers)
→ Internet of Things: devices connected to the Internet such as watches, TVs, cameras, CCTV and fridges interconnecting between each other without requiring a human intervention
· new usages: MOOC (education)
· new user-centric business models: e.g. Uber
The Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT equips all products with sensors measuring various parameters such as: pressure, temperature, humidity, vibration, rotation, orientation, contact, compass, gyro, accelerometer, heart rate.
IoT measures and monitors continuously the parameters of the equipments or of the data subjects (e.g. Fitbit).
The data or parameters of the equipments are stored on the device and/or are transferred to a service provider in charge of delivering the services. IoT covers two major markets
→ IoT for businesses linked to industrial equipments (part of the industry 4.0)
→ IoT for consumers
“A Gartner study predicts that 20 billion of IoT devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020. The major issues relative to the development of this industry concern the security of the devices and the importance of the personal data they may reveal about individuals in the case of IoT for consumers.”
A new industrial revolution (the fourth industrial revolution) has started and is based on artificial intelligence and digital manufacturing.
Some examples concern artificially-intelligent robots and self-driving cars. This evolution embraces also the digital shift in the sense that a matrix of internet-enabled sensors will soon link factories with customers and suppliers.
“It results in a seamless integration regarding IS (Information Systems) systems within the eco-system of partners / subcontractors such as the supply chain integration between a car manufacturer and its set of sub-contractors.”
The shift from products to services
Price per usage and the sharing economy
Price per usage
Another trend characterizing current business models corresponds to the shift from products to services which started slightly before the digital transformation.
Companies stopped selling goods but instead sell services as shown by the
→ Pay per user approach
→ Price per usage
This shift was favoured by the digital transformation because selling services instead of products requires becoming customer-centric instead of product-centric and therefore necessitates an increased and detailed knowledge regarding customer behaviour. Profiling is part of the DNA of the “Pay per / Price per” approach.
The sharing economy
The sharing economy (B2C) enables individuals to become producers and consumers (prosumers) at the same time. Producers and consumers are virtually meeting on an internet platform where the transaction takes place. If different business models exist (e.g. sharing, renting, leasing, etc.) the platform (and therefore the service provider running the platform) corresponds to the place where the virtual transaction takes place. Some famous examples regarding the sharing economy could be :
• Car sharing: Blablacar
• Rent your car: Drivy
• Alternative to taxis: Uber
• House sharing: AirBnB
• Consumer-to-consumer product sharing / renting / selling: Leboncoin, E-loue
All above companies focus on the service and not on the product. A user-centric approach requires in essence a profiling approach corresponding to the collection, analysis and prediction of the customer behaviour. These business models require the processing of personal data on a large scale.