What is the deal with wearables in the enterprise today?
With recent announcements and new product launches, wearable technology is making a push at the enterprise level. By 2020, experts believe there could be as many as 830 million wearable devices in use worldwide.
Today’s wearable technology market is growing by more than 15% annually—at this rate, the market’s value will exceed $50 billion in less than five years. As more companies embrace smartwatches and other wearable devices, look for mobile traffic generated by this technology to increase by more than 2,200% (no, that’s not a typo!). What does this mean for your workplace?
Wearables at work
While businesses are just beginning to integrate these devices into existing mobility programs, most employees are already well-acquainted with wearables. For years, consumers have used and benefitted from smartwatches, Fitbits, and a handful of other devices. Now, 93% of decision-makers say their organisation is actively exploring this technology and 87% believe these devices will have a business impact very soon.
In the current digital environment, executives are constantly seeking new technologies and devices that give their business an edge over competitors. Among CIOs, 81% believe wearables could be mobility’s next competitive advantage—some are already using these devices as everyday tools that ensure workplace success. That’s why 54% of companies allow employees to use their wearable devices at work today.
Among other things, early adopters seem to be leveraging wearables for tasks that help improve enterprise efficiency, like workplace security access, employee time management, and real-time communications. After successfully implementing wearable devices, 76% of these organisations have already reported substantial improvements to overall business performance.
However, not every organisation is ready for wearable device disruption.
Information technology challenges
For most IT teams, wearables have been nothing more than a mobility program afterthought to this point. In fact, 66% of companies lack a formal written policy capable of managing wearable technology. That means most businesses don’t have an answer for any potential security breaches, additional end-user support needs, or decreases in network bandwidth that could result from adopting these devices.
Only eight percent of businesses that currently use wearable devices say they’re completely prepared and able to gain actionable insights from employee- or customer-generated data—the other 92% are doing little more than crossing their fingers and making educated guesses at best. Also, 30% of successful implementations still cite a lack of business applications as their IT team’s primary wearable technology challenge.
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