Preparing the enterprise for the wearable technology revolution

wearables

The future of wearable technology is so bright we’ll soon all be wearing Google sunglasses.  Juniper Research expects worldwide spending on wearable devices to jump from $1.4 billion this year to $19 billion by 2018.

In another report, ABI Research claims that sales of wearable computing devices will exceed 485 million shipments worldwide by 2018. "Wearable technology such as smart glasses and those used for healthcare are better suited for the enterprise as corporate-liable devices. Smartwatches, on the other hand, will most likely follow the trend of BYOD into the enterprise," according to Jason McNicol, senior enterprise analyst for ABI Research.

In just five years, the BYOD revolution has morphed into an explosion of "BYOx," the "Internet of Things" and now "Wearable Tech".  According to Gartner, there will be over 30 billion connected devices by 2020. The obvious question is, "How are we going to manage this proliferation of new devices?"

From an IT Service Management perspective, forward-looking CIOs and IT Directors are evaluating the bigger picture of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solutions that go well beyond device control and configuration. The larger issues of governance and compliance, viewed through the lens of service delivery and service management solutions, will be evaluated on the basis of providing adequate levels of application control and security for this mobile device sprawl.

Balancing an employee’s device freedom and the need for corporate control, security and compliance will be best met by a unified endpoint platform approach that provides centralized and remote monitoring, deployment, provisioning, and management.

This is especially true in vertical markets including healthcare, manufacturing, retail and law enforcement, where the benefits of hands-free technology are far-reaching. Given evolving trends in health fitness, messaging, retail and social media, it’s no surprise the wearable technology ecosystem is attracting significant levels of interest.  OEMs, wireless carriers, health insurers and retailers are all vying for a stake in this market. The adoption of wearable tech is not a "maybe," it’s a given.

Despite this snowballing trend, a current EMA survey has determined that only 15 percent of enterprises are fully prepared to meet increasingly demanding mobility management and wearable tech requirements, while citing UEM solutions as the next major trend in IT Service Management. A recent  blog by ITSM expert, Mareike Fondufe, demonstrates the advantages of a UEM strategy by citing a common use case.

The growing popularity of wearable tech creates an increasingly heterogeneous array of mobile devices, virtually all of which will inevitably be used for business purposes. A consolidated UEM approach is the logical choice for provisioning and managing this sprawl as the workforce adds yet another device to their everyday toolset.

ITSM needs to evolve from simply being a tactical service to a strategic business enabler and there is a growing consensus that these needs are best met by a UEM approach that provides centralized and remote monitoring, deployment, provisioning and management.

Image Credit: JMicic/Shutterstock

Jon_Temple_5362_crp_1Jonathan Temple is the President and CEO of FrontRange Solutions. Jonathan is responsible for setting the overall vision and strategy for the company as well as managing all day-to-day operations. He has more than 25 years' experience in the software industry with an impressive track record of leading and accelerating the growth of both established and emerging software companies.

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