Posted in Business
Communication in personal and professional lives is undergoing a significant transformation because of the emerging wearable technology. The way we want to be connected, our strive for personalizing every and each device, and the necessity to get real-time updates on important occurrences provide a fertile environment for the growth of wearables.
Apple has managed to attract and enchant millions of customers worldwide by offering smart devices that provide a combination of functionality, design, and usability. Now, it’s time for wearables to challenge both consumer and enterprise markets. Specialists at Apple know the game-changing potential of wearable devices and have introduced iOS watches to share the great opportunities of expected success. However, companies like Apple cannot be mere observers; they play their own role in creating the future of technologies. That is why, with iOS watches on the market, smartwatches have even more chances to attract various groups of end users.
Aiming at the enterprise market
Businesses should keep in mind that any hardware or software, widely used by consumers, one day may penetrate into business world. Whether or not you are ready to meet the new requirements of the market will be decisive for your success. For instance, those who anticipated the huge growth in the field of mobile devices and applications took the lead over their competitors.
A concept should be outlined and defined here: the phenomenon of consumerization. It is when certain products find their way into consumer market from corporate sphere. A vivid example of consumerization is the creation of personal computers which were developed mainly for corporate purposes but then became available to every individual. The opposite tendency is also widely observed: devices can be used in the consumer market but then become integrated into the enterprise world. In recent years, companies have been forced to incorporate smartphones and tablets into their daily activities to reach wide audiences faster and easier. No company and developer should ever ignore these shifts as far as they can ensure a big success on the one hand and constrain further consumption of products, on the other.
The path from a consumer device to an enterprise product is a challenging one. You should come up with a solution that fills up the gap between useful consumer features and business interest. Many experts are observing development of smartwatch market, and there are different standpoints on whether smartwatches will penetrate into corporate sphere. Apple has already got down to cooperating with companies like IBM and Salesforce to make its way into the enterprise world. Partnerships of this nature may provide beneficial outcomes, but an essential question will remain: how can businesses integrate Apple watches into their everyday activities? The good news is - if the right use cases are found, the success will be ensured.
Time and functionality
The future of wearable devices is a hot topic in the technological field. To gain a standpoint in the countless ideas and approaches, let us take a quick look at two essential points - functionality of a device and the most optimal time for us to spend on a particular activity. Thus, if we need to work for hours, we will use a PC or a laptop. If an activity can be completed in a few minutes, then we will turn to a smartphone or a tablet. Lastly, if we want to accomplish something in seconds, wearable devices (like smartwatches) will be most preferred. For example, enabling you to check your emails during a business meeting is a smart decision technology offers to you. Benefits are obvious. Checking emails at a glance. Minimum efforts for sending quick replies. No need to pull out other devices. Always on the wrist.
The perfect use cases will make it possible
Apple smartwatch allows you to go hands-free and always be updated, which enhances its advantages tenfold. These functional peculiarities make them so desirable in a number of spheres: in manufacturing, construction, and mining industries, as well as for companies managing disasters, rescues, etc.
Manufacturing Two things are of key importance in manufacturing: productivity and worker’s safety. At the push of a button or by a voice message, workers can receive vital updates, send data, and get instructions on their watches, without leaving production lines. Making prompt and informed decisions is ensured. Research provides supporting evidence: the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths (University of London) has observed that wearable technology increases people’s productivity by 8.5%. In addition, it has had positive impact on their job satisfaction level by increasing it up to 3.5%. The figures will show even better results when smartwatches become more widespread and perform more functions.
Fitness and healthcare These industries are considered to be spheres with highest potential for growth. Perhaps the reason is that we can find more scenarios when it is not convenient to take out your smart phone. Blood pressure, heartbeats, calories, the minutes of walk or run, workout information - all this can now be viewed right on your wrist. Moreover, this information can be directly communicated to your doctor or nurse for review. ABI Research predicts the wearable technology in sports and healthcare industry alone to grow up to nearly 170 million devices by 2017, with 41% of annual growth rate. Apparently, these vast opportunities have enabled wearables to penetrate into many other spheres of business as well - banking, financial services, travel, entertainment, etc. Can smartwatches join this competitive market and succeed there? The shortest answer will be: if they prove to be useful to consumers and companies, they will surely survive and succeed. Unique and appropriate use cases will help Apple watch to break through the enterprise barrier, and companies will soon be forced to think of turning the new device into a benefit.
Personalization Wearable devices can be designed to interact with customers in a personalized way: address them by name and provide information about their preferences and behavior before we approach them. Apparently, the more the wearable device is optimized for personalized use, the better are its chances to attract businesses and consumers.
Data smog Distilling information has become a major issue both for consumers and companies. We are urged to extract what we need and ignore the useless info in order not to get overwhelmed with digital data. This phenomenon is called data smog. For instance, according to Damballa, the average North American enterprise gets more than 10,000 security notifications per day, a vast majority of which require no follow-up. Employers end up with waste of time and the companies – with waste of money. Again, smartwatches can step in as a helpful friend: they can filter information on the go so that workers only get important alerts.
Challenges of wearables
When considering the growth of any sector in technology, a close attention should be paid to challenges we face. Wearable devices, including watches, have their peculiarities that ought to be taken into account.
Applicability. The major restricting factor for wearable device industry is the applicability. Key stimuli should be found to boost the usability of devices. Here is when teamwork becomes so essential. Apple as a watch creator, businesses, and software application developers – each party holds a responsibility for the future of smartwatch market. All of them should make efforts to come up with use cases where a watch is preferred over all other devices.
Independence. Apple watches are partially dependent and synchronized with iPhones. To provide maximum benefit, they should grow to be an independent product with no need for additional smart devices.
Battery. The watch is with us everywhere, anytime. That’s why battery life proves to be a huge issue. Developers take this challenge seriously, and batteries are expected to become more than twice powerful by 2020, which will undoubtedly enhance smartwatch usage.
Enterprise security and user privacy. The enterprise use of wearables implies transferring corporate information. If the security mechanisms do not provide absolute protection for companies, the failure will be inevitable. Consumers also need to safeguard sensitive information which may include data on their health status, shopping history, etc. Having the opportunity to wipe off your data remotely in case of a loss or unauthorised access becomes a must.
Apple watch can (and will) make it in enterprise
While considering Apple’s opportunities to make iOS watches attractive to enterprise market, we should give credit to the path this company has already passed. Apple has a proven success story of entering the enterprise world from consumer market. Apparently, its team has overcome lots of barriers on the way to triumph and knows how to make products desirable to vast majority of people.
Last but not least, Apple is a recognized brand, so iOS watches can become part of your company’s branding. The small device on your wrist is a hint to your customers that you share key values with Apple in being creative, innovative, customer-oriented, and consistent in pursuit of your success.
The debates on whether Apple watches will enter the enterprise market or not will still go on. However, one thing is clear: the next peak of success can be achieved if every aspect of wearable device industry is scrupulously analyzed and a new way of business-consumer interaction is created. It will enable us to witness the life-changing impact of Apple watches. By then, developers will probably indicate the success of iOS Watches to support the idea of having the next revolutionary product hit the market.
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