Anurag Garg, Emre Demirezen, Kutsal Dogan and Kenny Cheng.
From left: Anurag Garg, Emre Demirezen, Kutsal Dogan and Kenny Cheng.

Warrington information systems faculty and Ph.D. student honored with best paper award

Research by the team of information systems doctoral student Anurag Garg and Warrington faculty members Assistant Professor Dr. Emre Demirezen, Clinical Professor Dr. Kutsal Dogan, and John B. Higdon Eminent Scholar and Department Chair Dr. Kenny Cheng was recognized at the recently concluded prestigious 51st Annual Conference of Decision Science Institute. The paper, titled “Financial Sustainability of IoT Platforms: The Role of Quality and Security”, won the best interdisciplinary paper as the research is at the intersection of information systems and operations management.

The question at the center of their research is to look at the financial sustainability of the Internet of things (IoT) platform provider and application developers.

“We saw a high proliferation of devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Home with Amazon claiming more than 100 million Alexa devices have been sold but the profits, as well as application developers’ ecosystem, remain elusive when you compare it with platform ecosystems like that of Apple’s iPhone,” said Dr. Cheng. “With this in mind, we tried to answer some questions that are relevant for IoT platform.”

In the research, the team finds that the collaborative nature of the efforts by the IoT platform provider and application developers increase the quality of user experience, and at the same time, improve the security of users’ data that has some interesting implications on behavior and profitability of all parties.

For example, a substantial number of apps are needed in the platform for an economically viable platform, and that a less efficient platform needs even a larger application base. Moreover, the platform provider might need to provide additional incentives, or sometimes, extract additional rent from the application developers to financially sustain the platform.

Another interesting finding of the research is that the entry of a competing app on the platform may be beneficial for existing apps under the right conditions leading to an increase in everyone’s profits.

“We feel honored to win this award and to know that our peers recognize the relevance of our work as well as the approach,” said Dr. Demirezen.