The world was truly revolutionized by the advent of smartphones. Touchscreen technology was, for many people, able to fulfill a whole new set of needs – some of which might not have even been identifiable in the generations leading up to this point. Now the next step in the evolution of IT is beginning to arrive – wearables.
Devices worn on wrists and faces are starting to make names for themselves in different ways. But the use of these tools is not always obvious. This is one of the biggest obstacles that wearables face in their adoption. One thing is for sure, however, and that is that wearable tech is not only on the way, but it is already here.
As a result, communications networks and interfaces are going to have to be adapted to fit these assets. As more people begin bringing them into the workplace – whether as a consumer-grade bring-your-own-device choice or as part of an overarching strategy to drive office innovation – there will have to be a conscious effort to enable these machines in a way that employees will want to use them, including as telecom endpoints.
The Long Road To Wearables
But while most people think of the still-in-beta-testing Google Glass or the hypothetical iWatch when they consider wearables, these tools are already seeing usage in different ways. Primarily, a major market for wearables lies in the fitness and health sectors of the tech market. But there has already been a slew of smartwatches that have made their way to the public as a complement to certain smartphones and tablets.
These are the kinds of wearable computers that are going to need consideration when plotting a trajectory for unified communications initiatives. The aforementioned Google Glass, while it is slowly expanding its availability to include a larger set of testers, will undoubtedly appear in workplaces around the world.
Learning From The Past
Although smartphones have been around for almost a decade, the precedent that needs to be set for these devices as enterprise assets still has not totally come to fruition. BYOD, when managed correctly, has proven to be a powerful way to enable staff members. Conversely, those organizations who have either failed to create effective policies or ignored the reality around them have faced the hardships that accompany shadow IT operations.
It will be important to examine the appearance of mobile devices in the workplace to get an idea of how wearables will disrupt daily operations. While the term “disrupt” may carry certain negative connotations, it is actually a very good thing in the tech sphere. Wearables present an opportunity to shake things up and find new ways in which tasks can be completed. But in order to harness their true potential and figure out how to make them work effectively in a business context, there will have to be careful consideration regarding how these machines will be leveraged – namely in terms of the cloud communications that all enterprises are quickly taking to.