Wearable technology is the new “it” thing. From FitBit, to Google Glass, to Samsung Galaxy Gear, and now the Apple iWatch, users are literally arming themselves with the latest gadgets. This is particularly true among early adopters who are counting the days until the release of the Apple iWatch.
While early adopters used to represent only a small number of technology trendsetters, a 2014 study found that of individuals aged 18 to 44, 56% say they have been the first among their friends, colleagues or family members to try a new product or service. With soon-to-be-launched devices promoted widely online and user reviews instantly pushed out to the masses via social media, anyone can step forward to be the first in line to make a purchase – including employees at your company.
This means enterprise IT teams also need to be one step ahead of the trends. While this doesn’t mean that IT needs to camp out overnight at the Apple store , it does mean that IT needs to anticipate what devices will be coming into the workplace and how to keep enterprise security intact.
According to a global forecast by CCS Insight, wearable device shipments are expected to hit 22 million this year, up from 9.7 million in 2013, and will continue to grow to 135 million in 2018. The age of Wear Your Own Device (WYOD) is here, and IT needs to include these devices into their security strategies to make sure that any corporate data accessed on these devices is secure. Wearable devices are promising users easy access to applications and data on smartphones, which could eventually include enterprise information.
So it’s not too early to start planning how to extend your BYOD policy beyond smartphones to WYOD. Wearable tech is considered fun and hip, but from an enterprise standpoint it needs to be taken seriously. While WYOD offers opportunities for increased mobile productivity it needs to be worked into an organisation’s overall mobile security strategy.