Strategic Choices #6 - Manage Data Rights

How Does the Company Manage Ownership and Access Rights to Its Product Data?

The article, How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Competition, published in the November 2014 issue of Harvard Business Review (HBR), identifies the ten strategic choices manufacturers must make to capitalize on IoT opportunities.

Co-Author and PTC CEO Jim Heppelmann explains how companies should manage ownership and access rights to connected product data, and provides a recommendation to get started.

Video Transcript

When you think about how your company manages ownership and access rights to product data, you should realize that manufacturers have a responsibility to manage and protect the data. There are three key aspects to data ownership and access rights that manufacturers should consider. 

First, security is essential. And it's different from traditional IT security, because there's more at stake, it's easier to attack, and it's harder to defend. 

Second, consumers have changing expectations around privacy. They no longer tolerate these long and obscure legal click-through agreements. What consumers are asking for is more transparency about what data you're collecting and what value exchange they get out of providing that information to you. 

And third, there are regulations that are emerging in different industry verticals. These regulations might be related to safety, or risk mitigation. For example, what could happen if somebody hacks into a medical device. These regulations might differ by country, culture, or industry, which can really complicate the data flow of a solution.


So our recommendation is that you research and embrace new design principles, such as design for security and design for privacy. We recommend that you provide transparency and a clear value proposition to your customers. And that you establish a data sharing framework for sharing product data with different parties, who may receive benefit from access to that information.