Designing Business Model for The Internet of Things in Elevator Service

  • Chia Tai Angus Lai

Student thesis: Doctor of Business Administration


The increasing pervasiveness of the Internet of Things (IoT) offers a wealth of business model opportunities. Many conventional product-based companies are seeking to increase their competitiveness by moving towards a service-based business model whereby the IoT can bring tremendous opportunities. These traditional product sales manufacturing firms are required to consider business models beyond their conventional product-focused, firm-centric core competence business model innovation and respond to fast-changing digitalisation dynamics focused on promoting service-centric solution availability instead of physical products. However, the literature has not yet provided profound and actionable approaches to service business models in IoT-driven environments for manufacturing firms. This research aims to fill the gap and elaborate framework of design guidelines for designing service business models for the IoT in manufacturing firms; accordingly, the elevators industry is selected as the main case study applying proposed framework of design guidelines. The thesis adopts the journal format with four essays. The first paper focuses on deriving six guiding principles from an illustration of the value of the IoT and a systemic review of academic literature focusing on IoT business models: service centrism, value co-creation, resource integration, long-term relationships, the ecosystem, and capitalised value of information. Papers 2 to 4 contain three essays that delve deeper into each of the design guidelines under design framework. The second paper illustrates the criticality for firms to move toward the ecosystem business model approach from the conversational single and firm-centric business model, again using a comparable case study in the elevator industry. The third paper aims to demonstrate how the IoT can enable an elevator company to shift from having a product focus to being a service-centric company through value co-creation and resource integration, hence maintaining a long-term relationship business model. The fourth paper aims to depict how the IoT can enable an elevator company to achieve information-driven, condition-based maintenance in its service business model. Case studies of real-world IoT service business models demonstrate the applicability of the proposed guiding principles and their managerial implications and challenges, as well as options to overcome these challenges. The evaluation of the applicability of these implications pertaining to the emerging context of the IoT business model can enable researchers and practitioners to visualise and analyse service business model design in a structured and actionable way.
Date of Award1 Aug 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorSilvia Massini (Supervisor) & Paul Jackson (Supervisor)


  • Service Science
  • Condition Base Maintenance
  • Service Dominant Logic
  • Business Ecosystem
  • Business Model
  • Internet of Things
  • Value Co-creation

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