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Cross-cutting business models for Internet of Things (IoT)

This study focuses on identifying promising areas for cross-cutting Internet of Things (IoT) activities and their corresponding business models. It also analyses market and technology related success factors and barriers, as well as the social impact of IoT. Finally, a set of policy recommendations based on the study findings are included with the aim of supporting the European Commission in fostering the growth of IoT in Europe.

Cross-cutting business models for IoT' study front page

European Commission

In recent years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has rapidly gained importance finding its way to real products and services, with a bright future ahead as the key elements of these products and services are driven by decreasing costs. IoT provides companies with the opportunity to open up new business channels and create new value-adding services. Well-known examples of business models that deviate from the established way of working include those of Airbnb and Uber. It is the goal of the European Commission to document in this study the impact of IoT on the structure of industry and the business models used, with the aim of indicating various possibilities for organisations to adopt a cross-cutting approach, targeting multiple sectors, in order to facilitate their entry into the IoT market.

The study analyses cross-cutting business models for IoT by considering the following:

  • The current economic landscape;
  • The drivers behind IoT products and services (economic drivers, socio-political drivers, such as the ageing society, are also highlighted);
  • Which types of business models offer the best opportunities? (Six possible business model categories have been identified);
  • An analysis of barriers and success factors;
  • Actions that can be taken to allow a business model to become cross-cutting;
  • The differences between Europe and other regions;
  • The social impact of IoT.

The analysis of these factors results in a number of recommendations that will enable the European Commission to support all stakeholders involved in deploying and enhancing market dynamics. Practical policy recommendations are formulated under four main headings:

  1. Skills and employability 
  2. Policy interventions and their relationship to the allocation of government funding
  3. IoT infrastructure
  4. Rules and regulations


'Cross-cutting business models for IoT': Executive summary
'Cross-cutting business models for IoT': Final report