August 30, 2014
The BYOD or Bring Your Own Device trend which started a few years back has now evolved to include smart wearables, such as smartwatches, smart glasses and so on. Considering the way in which these new devices are beginning to flood the market, it is only a matter of time before employees start using them in the office environment as well. This trend, popularly known as WYOD or Wear Your Own Device, seems all poised to enter enterprise, possibly representing the next frontier in mobile communication.
Industry experts aver that it is now time for IT managers to take note of the rising WYOD trend and advice companies to prepare for the onslaught of wearables. It is hence desirable for companies to start planning ahead and modify their existing BYOD policies to include the use of wearable devices in office.
IT managers should also plan on providing new enterprise apps and other content in such a way that they can make the most of the wearables available today, while also limiting access to the same if they think it compromises enterprise security in any way. Further, employees should be made aware about wearable devices and about the guidelines that apply to their usage in the workplace.
Not Just an IT Issue
WYOD should not be considered to be exclusively the responsibility of the IT department. That team only has the right to plan and implement policies – it cannot be expected to control the amount or type of device an employee carries into the workplace.
This issue should be taken into consideration by the business establishment as a whole, with the entire higher management accepting accountability for it.
Organizations keen on adopting the new technology need to understand the potential problems arising from the use of these devices and plan out ways to best protect their intellectual property rights. Security attacks are a very real and regular occurrence today and enterprises can never afford to take anything for granted. Establishments that deal with confidential and sensitive data, therefore, need to be especially careful before adopting this new technology.
Can Enterprises Ban Wearables?
Banning the use of wearables and other emerging technologies may not really prove to be an effective strategy for companies. Organizations should instead change their device security policies and educate their employees on the use of these devices in the office environment. All people concerned with the workings of the establishment, including employees, contractors, consultants and volunteers, should uniformly come under the terms and conditions of the company’s policies.
The fine line dividing consumer technology and enterprise technology is now fast fading. Therefore, the entire organization needs to stand together as one single unit, understand all the pros and cons of using wearables in enterprise and then take collective responsibility for trying to adapt to new technologies.