Economy of Things – a technology and business evolution
Are platform monopolies an inevitable variation of the tragedy of the commons in today’s digital economy? Or could decentralized systems balance their power, strengthen the cooperative behavior of incumbents to better serve customer needs, and form the basis for an Economy of Things with new cross-industry and cross-domain value networks and business models?
An economy with an Internet of Things
Bosch products are increasingly connected to the Internet of Things and we are driving participation in the digital economy. As a company that produces great products, the question of how these “things” play a role in a digital economy is of fundamental interest.
Our corporate research group leads the effort to answer this question with the “Economy of Things” project, which is interdisciplinary at its core with active participation from many Bosch units in the mobility, energy, consumer, logistics, and IT domains.
Three objectives for the Economy of Things
We are focusing on three steps to usher in a new digitalized economy.
The first step is to decentralize and balance the power of today’s platform monopolies. This will in turn strengthen the cooperative behavior of incumbents to better serve customer needs in Bosch’s domains.
The second step is to evolve technologies. We can develop smart things fluent in the relevant technology and required organizational abilities, but also industrialize complementary new services that enrich established product-based business models.
The third step is to innovate. We will contribute to new cross-industry and cross-domain value networks and business models when possible – to enable the Economy of Things.
Distributed ledger technology
Decentralization and the good governance of decentralized systems will be core capabilities to master in building an Economy of Things. One of the technologies that may play a central role is distributed ledger technology (DLT). Blockchain is a well-known example of this technology.
We are preparing for the technology-readiness of decentralized systems based on DLT, multi-agent technology, as well as game theory and mechanism design.
The contributions of Bosch will build cross-industry and cross-domain value networks that generate new business models in an Economy of Things.