Enterprise Adoption of Wearables is Expected by CIOs

Many feel that it is simply a matter of time before wearable mobile devices and applications designed specifically for such an interface will become common tools in professional environments.

As an example, there are applications which are already emerging which are set to enable employees to carry out work-related tasks on the Apple Watch, before the product has even been released.

It would appear that many corporate IT leaders agree with this notion, as a recent survey developed by Robert Half Technology has revealed that 81% of CIOs believe wearable computing devices such as watches and glasses will be adopted in the workplace.

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and collected responses from more than 2,400 CIOs at US companies with 100 or more employees in 24 metropolitan areas.

Among this group, the majority indicated that they expect to see wearables being used in the workplace within five years. Some of the noted use cases for wearables included recording meetings, scanning documents, providing navigation and taking photographs for business purposes.

Despite over 80% of surveyed CIOs agreeing on this, the research produced significant variation in the expected time-frame of this trend. Although 61% of respondents expect wearables to become common workplace tools within four or five years, only 5% said that this would be possible in as soon as one year.

This indicated that wearables have a clear justification for use in a professional context, but it is likely that more research and experimentation will be required before the most effective use cases which warrant investment are defined.

"Mobility and connectivity expectations for business have grown, making the ability to gain access anywhere, anytime imperative," said John Reed, Senior Executive Director of Robert Half Technology. "Emerging technologies such as wearables may help drive Enterprise Mobility and create a need for IT expertise to support their adoption at work."

The research provided three important points for IT leaders to consider when evaluating whether to support wearables for their business:

Key Benefits of Use

Consider whether or not a new technology can add value to the business. It is crucial to measure the long-term benefits of additional devices and how they could positively impact the workplace, rather than simply following trends blindly.

Managing Security Risks

New technologies have the potential to compromise the security of an organisation. Technology leaders must effectively identify the difference in security risk levels with enterprise-provided wearables versus employees' personal devices and strategically address them.

Policy, Training and Adoption

It's vital to have a preemptive communications approach that will facilitate any new policies and necessary training. Preparation will be fundamental to the successful adoption of wearables in the enterprise.