Compass (News - Alert) Intelligence and Mind Commerce have announced a joint study on the future of wearable technology in the enterprise.
"Enterprise wearables is the hottest emerging market in mobile & wireless," Heather Taylor, senior emerging technologies analyst, for Compass Intelligence (News - Alert), said. "While the consumer market generates a lot of buzz for wearable devices, the enterprise market has tangible use cases that help enterprises justify the return on investment for wearables."
The study looks at forays from different companies entering the enterprise wearables market, use cases for wearables in the enterprise and trials that vendors have signed up for to promote enterprise wearables. The report is targeted toward hardware vendors, software vendors, systems integrators, mobile operators and other IT professionals.
While mobile devices and tablets have obvious business applications by letting employees and executives access company data from everywhere, wearable devices are as much fashion accessories as they are technology. (Although smartphones are marketed for style as much as wearable devices are.)
Wearables actually do benefit productivity in addition to just looking good. Users can access company email and calendars just by looking at them, leaving their hands free to do other things. The biggest applications will thus be in areas where people work with their hands: construction, delivery/logistics, first responders, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, telecommunications and oil and gas.
According to the report, wearables could boost the sales of other mobile devices. This is likely because smartwatches require another device to work. Users might decide to upgrade their smartphones or tablets at the same time they buy smartwatches. Mind Commerce predicts the biggest growth will come from tablets, with 73 percent growth by 2020. Smartphones will only grow by 22 percent.
As with any Internet-connected device, there will still be security challenges, especially as more companies adopt BYOD policies. A Mind Commerce survey showed that 46 percent of companies thought BYOD was a “medium” security risk.
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