ABI Research forecasts enterprise wearable device revenue, such as smartwatches, smart glasses and wearable scanners, will top US$55 billion in 2022, increasing from US$10.5 billion in 2017. Driving this CAGR, which surpasses 39 percent, are the needs to improve productivity, reduce errors and save time training both new and seasoned workers. The implementation of strong supporting platforms is now essential to ensure proper employee access, storage and security of all wearable device data.
“Wearables have much less in-built security and authentication protocols than other devices and so require robust security platforms to ensure data safety,” says Stephanie Lawrence, research analyst at ABI Research. “Supporting platforms allow managers and IT teams to determine what information the wearables have access to, monitor their usage, create customized applications and remotely control the devices. This ultimately safeguards the data from being compromised.”
Companies such as Augmate, PTC, Salesforce, Total Communicator Solutions and Upskill provide such platforms to interested enterprises. Often these platforms are available as SaaS (Software as a Service) or PaaS (Platform as a Service) and can come with a one-time set up fee with a monthly or yearly fee based on number of devices, users and/or applications.
As companies require stronger security protocols, the platforms mature. However, wearable platforms differ from other device platforms, as they require specific applications that can support a wide variety and make of wearables. For example, the diversity of smartwatches, with different operating systems and face shapes, often causes incompatibility issues when creating device applications.
However, most wearable platforms can be supported by enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions, such as mobile device management (control over the whole device), mobile application management (control over an application) and mobile content management (control over the content in an application). Each solution provides its own benefits, allowing IT teams to control certain aspects of the wearable rollout. ABI Research finds that the best supporting platforms supply several of these solutions to ensure that all data and devices are kept secure.