Let\u2019s say I have a connected bike. It has a safety feature\u2014a special sensor (essentially an IoT device) that relays critical facts to the manufacturer and permits me to drive only if the manufacturer relays an ok after performing some due diligence checks.This is cool because I just have to report the bike as stolen and the manufacturer can shut down the bike remotely. The bike can also pass on critical information to the manufacturer (like a spark plug that may conk off anytime soon), which gives me a sense of safety.So far, so good. But life is no fairy tale, so you can never have happy endings.One fine day, the manufacturer decides to end support.This means that my IoT sensor has nobody to talk to.This means that my bike will never start again.Sounds far-fetched? Well, something like this happened two years ago. In 2014, Google\u2019s Nest acquires Revolv and stopped selling the Revolv smart hub, which you can use to control devices in your home. Now, they have stopped all support\u2014which means that you have to use your Revolv as a paper weight from 15 May, 2016.When something new like IoT comes up, vendors will try to push their products before standards have evolved\u2014they will be hoping that they will dominate and become the de facto standard.This is just a home, so you can get by. But what if you are the CIO of a company and have bought a million sensors from a company called Acme Inc.? And what if another company called Ajax Inc. acquires Acme Inc. and then stops support? What will happen to the devices you have on the field?To ensure that this doesn\u2019t happen, CIOs will have to do three things:1. Consult the legal boys: What does the law say about ownership and support? The situation may vary from solution to solution and from product to product, so the CIO will have to speak to the chief legal officer of his company to get a heads up on what legal action can be taken if somebody who has sold you IoT hardware shuts shop or is acquired. You may want to add some text to the SLA about support for at least a decade, so that an acquiring company is legally bound to support the product\u2014but consult your lawyers to see how to go about this.2. Push for open source: CIOs should encourage open source, or at least open standards in IoT. This means that a company going bankrupt will not disrupt (many CXOs like the word \u201cdisrupt,\u201d but it is not a nice word in this context, eh?) your operations. You should still be able to keep your lights running, come what may.3. Discuss with other CIOs: When something new like IoT comes up, vendors will try to push their products before standards have evolved\u2014they will be hoping that they will dominate and become the de facto standard. Unfortunately, no single company dominates, so you may end up having two or three different standards. Discussing with your peers in the same business at industry events can help.Statutory warning: With #3 above, you may run into irksome writers like me, who will request you for story inputs.