BYOD could soon be adapted to be known as ‘BYOWD’ (Bring
Your Own Wearable Device) if wearable devices "take the enterprise by storm”,
as predicted will happen by several recent articles. According to Business
Insider, the wearable technology market will be worth $12bn by 2018.
The BYOD market is already growing at a rapid rate and is
expected to show growth from $67.21bn in 2011 to $181.39bn by 2017. In the "developed”
world, it’s now thought that around 44% of workers take their personal devices
to work, whilst in emerging economies the figure is even higher at 75%. This
leaves room for little doubt when it comes to the success of BYOD in the
GigaOm report which was published last year said that wearable technology
now presents an additional opportunity within the workplace; "the enterprise
environment will play an important role in the growth of wearable computing
because of the hands-free nature of the work. In contexts such as hardware
repair, maintenance of heavy infrastructure (e.g., nuclear reactors and
sophisticated hardware) or outdoor construction, where real-time geographical
information is required, wearables can be ideal,” the report said.
However, this won’t be without its pitfalls and enterprises
will have to find the right technology to be able to manage these devices within
the overall architecture of a company. GigaOm’s Judy Ranck, the author of the
report, said that it’s likely that wearable devices will also drive the form
factor of smartphones.
Surprisingly, the biggest obstacle to BYOWD will be employees’
ability to multi task as interruptions tend to impact performance. This is
thought to be a bigger threat to wearable devices gaining traction in the
enterprise than issues with security.
According to a Silicon
Angle report , employees will prefer to bring their personal devices to
work, as those supplied by employers can measure can potentially measure the
health of their workers, something that employees object to.
"Wearables will definitely accelerate BYOD in the
enterprise. Again driven by consumers, I expect individuals will be the first
to buy wearables like an iWatch or Google Glass. These peripheral devices will
drive the purchase deception of Smartphones and platforms. No one wants to
carry two smartphones, and these users will be influencing IT decisions as to
what devices to support in a BYOD program,” Chris Fleck, Citrix VP of Mobility
Solutions told Silicon Angle.
Silicon Angle backs up this assertion by pointing out the
numerous possibilities that exist for wearable technology in enterprise, such
as wrist-mounted mini PCs which can be used "out in the field” and smart
glasses that offer hands free computing.
According to Fleck, BYOWD will present the same challenges
to the enterprise as we first saw with smartphone and tablet use in the
workplace. This means that IT teams need "will need to stay ahead of the curve”
by taking early steps to prepare the enterprise for the technology.
However, the growing popularity of wearables means that "anything
is possible” in enterprise tech, says Fleck.