Industrial internet of things business models in the machine-to-machine context

Seppo Leminen, Mervi Rajahonka, Robert Wendelin, Mika Westerlund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This study analyzes Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) business models in the machine-to-machine (M2M) context. Thereby, it develops a conceptual framework to categorize different types of business model innovation for companies operating in the M2M business space. Business model innovations tend to cross multiple industries and drive ecosystems in which smart objects facilitate business models and service applications that are incrementally or radically novel in terms of their modularity or architecture. Our framework identifies four distinct types of IIoT business models: (I) Company-specific business models, (II) Systemic business models, (III) Value designs, and (IV) Systemic value designs. Moreover, it sheds light on different abstraction levels of business model building blocks and exposes the characteristics and differences in the value potential between the four business models. Finally, we advance the idea of ‘value design’ referring to business models of multiple actors coupled together, ultimately resulting in complex networks and ecosystems of diverse things, processes, and companies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-311
Number of pages14
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Early online date21 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Business model
  • Internet of things
  • Value design
  • Architecture
  • Modularity
  • Machine-to-machine


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