Contemporary perspectives on the strategic role of information in internet of things-driven industrial services

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to analyze the debate related to the strategic role of information in the industrial service business, that is, whether information is a resource that could and should be protected. The connection between manufacturers’ servitization and management strategy literature is used in the analysis. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative case study on five new entrants to the industrial service market. Findings: The results of the study provide new insights on both the characteristics and boundary conditions of new entrants’ approaches to strategically benefitting from information resources. Instead of aiming to possess and control data, the case companies prefer the access to large data volumes over exclusive access, render the question of data ownership to be largely irrelevant and perceive that the strategic relevance of information lies in novel data combinations. Practical implications: The study provides a contemporary perspective on the prevailing information resource protection doctrine in the context of industrial services. Most importantly, the results challenge the hitherto unquestionable strategic relevance of customer relationships in Internet of Things (IoT)-driven service businesses. Furthermore, the results identify the need for flexible organizational structures that aim to leverage the complexity of the market environment. Originality/value: Through providing a theoretically grounded and empirically backed contemporary perspective on the role of information in IoT-driven service businesses, the study expands the strategic understanding of industrial service providers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-845
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • IoT
  • servitization
  • service infusion
  • industrial services
  • resource-based view
  • strategy


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