What Makes Wearables The New Enterprise Reality

by Sohini Bagchi    Sep 21, 2016

What Makes Wearables The New Enterprise Reality

Wearables are becoming a hot new trend in modern workplaces.  Many employees are using devices such as smartwatches, smart bands and augmented reality glasses. Wearable technology in the form of clothing and accessories is also starting to attract employees. As a result, CIOs and other business executives have to consider the benefits as well as the challenges of allowing employees to use these technologies at work.

Experts believe the trend of enterprise wearables seems to be in the same direction as smartphones and tablets at work that popularized the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) concept. Just as they did with BYOD, companies that allow employees to “bring your own wearable” (BYOW) must consider security and IT governance implications when permitting wearables in the workplace.

wearables

“While there is no stopping workplace wearable, as they are getting so used to these devices in their daily lives, it is important that CIOs ask themselves two questions; one, what apps should be allowed to employees at the job and how can businesses effectively manage devices that are used as part of the work environment,” said technology expert and columnist Bob Violino in a recent article. And it is here that they need to judge both the pros and the cons of enterprise wearables, he mentioned.

Read more: Six Smart Wearables For Your Workplace

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, the worldwide wearable device market will reach a total of 111.1 million units shipped in 2016 itself. By 2019, the total shipments will reach 214.6 million units, resulting in a five-year CAGR of 28 per cent.

The most common smart devices are smart watches, Therefore, manufacturers of smart devices are keen to leverage the technology as the demand for such devices has grown in an upward trend.

“Wearable devices have become immensely popular in the past one year, and more players are expected to make an entry into the market in both the basic and smart wearable categories. The expected launch of affordable smartwatches in the second half of 2016 could see a rapid growth in the share of smart devices,” says Swapnil Bhatnagar, Research Director, IDC India.

However, enterprise mobility firm Kony warns of the challenges ahead In its recent a report titled ‘The Next Frontier in Cross-Platform Mobile Development’. The study predicts that CIOs will encounter multiple challenges with enterprise wearables in the coming 12 months and should be ready to deal with it. 

Read more: 5 Reasons Wearables Will Get Bigger In 2016

The key reason researchers of the report site is that there is ‘no clear vision’ when it comes to mobility at present, while two in five believe a lack of communication between IT teams is a major hindrance. Enterprises are also struggling with resources in development, with over half of the respondent argued that designing mobile apps for mobile devices and platforms is a major challenge.

Nonetheless, forward-thinking enterprises are eager to take advantage of the wealth of new devices and form factors entering the market today, but capitalizing on these innovations remains a challenge for today’s mobile app design and development teams,” said Dave Shirk, president of products, strategy and marketing at Kony.

“To meet this demand, designers and developers need next-generation creative tools that allow them to more easily adapt their apps to a broader range of interfaces, screen sizes, and capabilities,” Shirk added.

In conclusion, it can be said that while there are design and execution challenges exist, enterprise wearable devices can create a healthier workforce and some companies have already seen significant cost savings and increase in operational efficiencies. Experts opine, the trend will further accelerate in the near future.