Enterprise solutions for wearable technology are taking centre stage as consumer adoption amongst Canadians increases to 18 percent.
These figures presented by Nielson in their latest report are part of a greater industry desire to see what will happen with wearable technology over the next few years.
Big players such as Apple, Google, and Nike are leading the way with sophisticated product offerings such as smart watches, fitness bands, and glasses in the hopes that they will see the same jump they saw in the tablet market just two years back.
In 2012, tablets rose from 20 percent consumer adoption in the United States to 40 percent by 2014.
While these products are increasingly making their way into the consumer retail experience, the question as to why companies are thinking about adopting wearable technology offers unique insight into the potential growth behind the industry as a whole.
Subsidizing wearable devices
Whether it is to help manage health and wellness within an organization, to provide hands-free solutions that might increase productivity, or to quickly and efficiently send emergency alerts to workers in large industrial areas, companies are increasingly looking to wearable technology for solutions.
A recent report by PWC states, “Enterprise will play a major role in subsidizing and mainstreaming [wearable] devices.”
The PWC report also indicates that few people are in fact concerned about job security or autonomy while using wearable technology. The data presented by PWC shows that the benefits associated with using wearable technology are seen as far outweighing any negative impacts that could be perceived.
Millennials, for example, are twice as likely as their 35+-year-old counterparts to use wearable technology if a “retail, entertainment and media or health insurance company” were to pay.
This indicator is also helpful in outlining the targeted markets within the workforce that might be seen as adopting these wearables at these early stages.
“This is the point in which enterprise will start to enter the market. Where you are going to start to see companies trying to leverage wearable technology in order to increase return on investment,” says Gonzalo Tudela, CEO of Vancouver-based enterprise wearables company Vandrico.
There are two types of principal benefits that are created by wearable technology that can be of great importance to companies – the delivery of information and the information that is collected.
When it comes to the delivery of information, it is all about the speed and effectiveness of the solutions in place. Sending an alert to a smart watch that says ‘you need to evacuate a mine right away because there is a fire’ is integral to the safety and thus must be as secure and as fast as possible.
The information that is collected, on the other hand, provides a much different benefit to companies. It is through this aspect of wearable technology that companies can learn about their employees fatigue or stress levels, their location, and even what they are doing.
Risks associated with security and privacy
In order to tackle wearable technology related privacy and security risks, companies and their employees might need to re-examine the policies they have in place.
While Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policies are becoming more commonplace amongst businesses, wearables are still not well represented.
When 553 members of ISACA were polled in a recent 2014 IT Risk/Reward survey, only 12 percent of members answered that their organization’s BYOD policy addressed wearable technology.