Wearable Technology in BYOD and Enterprise

New report highlights use cases, projects accelerated 5-Year CAGR

From BYOD to WYOD (Wear Your Own Device)

It is easy to categorize wearables in the enterprise as simply a variation or next step in Bring Your Own Technology (BYOD) but in reality it is a bit more complicated. While clearly enterprise wearables and BYOD overlap, wearable is a distinct category with its own dynamics and should be thought of differently from non-wearable BYOD.

BYOD and wearables entered the enterprise in different ways. BYOD emerged from the consumer base and was heartily resisted by IT departments and corporations overall. Resistance was futile: iPhones and Android devices quickly became wildly popular and so sophisticated that they were of equal or even greater value to employees as enterprise-provided tools. IT departments as a rule are as controlling as the stereotypical mother-in-law, and having employees running around with mobile devices of all makes, models and security capabilities was a nightmare. Instead of waking up, IT departments began the transition, one that still is ongoing to accommodate all these gadgets.

On the other hand, wearables are not just accessories or gadgets for fashion or fitness, but they actually are productivity tools for getting work done. Glasses, watches and body monitors all hold the potential of becoming powerful applications for the workplace. Enterprise wearable is expected to become a business that will drive the growing trend of wearables moving beyond BYOD and adopting WYOD (wear your own device). The market for company-provided wearables will be larger than the consumer market in the next five years, because the number of jobs where people need to be able to work hands-free is vast.

The trend of employees to bring their own devices into the workplace (also well known as the BYOD movement) will rapidly evolve into employees wearing their own devices (WYOD), and brings a whole new spectrum of new approaches to boost and enhance employee productivity in the workplace.

Wearable Application Trends in Enterprise

The line between consumer and business technology has gotten increasingly blurry during the past decade. Consumer devices are almost indistinguishable from enterprise gear. But the gap between software and applications in each category is far wider.

But wearable computing is distinct from the first iteration of BYOD. The enterprise sector will lead this time, and consumers may or may not follow. The hardware used for enterprise wearables will be similar to what is used for consumer devices, but not identical. For instance, a wearable to be used in areas where combustible fumes are common must be engineered to ensure that under no circumstances the device will be able to generate a spark.

But the real action will be on the software front. Applications are where the value creation happens in the enterprise. Wearables expand the possibilities for how and when people interact with apps and data, which can lead to more dramatic successes. But apps for enterprise wearables in many cases need sophisticated “hooks” to backend databases unnecessary in consumer wearables and will need to meet more demanding corporate security and reliability standards.

Wearable is a natural progression reality in the today’s workplace called BYOD 2.0 that includes devices like Apple Watch, Google Glass, Fitbit devices, smartwatch or clothing items with chips and sensors. Employees will bring those devices in the workplace. The following diagram depicts that enterprise business operations including line of business, customer & marketplace demands are heaving impacted from this second of wave. Not only IT revisits their BYOD policies but also a greater alliance with marketing and digital departments is important to handle the upcoming BYOD risks and leverage the emerging opportunities associated with embracing the enterprise wide wave. Indeed it is wake up call for everybody concerns in the wearable BYOD ecosystem. BYOD in a nature of BYOW (Bring your own wearable) are more of internal change drivers where enterprises are in great risks of data security and privacy concerns if it is not addressed properly or ignored.

Wearable Usage in Enterprise

Wearables are taking a different route. The category, besides gaining some traction in the fitness wearable category, has not taken off with consumers. The BYOD genesis – folks gradually and almost unconsciously using these tools in the execution of their work to a point at which they can’t be excluded, hasn’t materialized in the wearable sector. This is not to say that wearables in the enterprise won’t be a big deal. In fact, they already are; several types of wearables likely will be big in the enterprise. The determining factor, as with any business tool, is the value the wearable brings to the business. Wearables will be transformative, if applied correctly.


Featured Report

Wearable Technology in BYOD and EnterpriseWearables expand the possibilities for how and when people interact with apps and data, which can lead to dramatic successes. But apps for enterprise wearables in many cases need sophisticated “hooks” to backend databases unnecessary in consumer wearables and will need to meet more demanding corporate security and reliability standards.

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