After having announced a partnership with Apple to develop enterprise apps for Apple Watch, IBM is looking to take this venture to the next level by adopting Apple's wearable in its workplace. Through the "Commit Health" initiative, IBM employees will reportedly receive a subsidy covering the cost of Apple Watch.
The program is said to be part of IBM's commitment to a healthier workforce. In the past, IBM offered Fitbit trackers to help employees monitor their exercise goals, and it's unclear if the new Apple Watch initiative will replace the Fitbit offering or if it is provided as an additional choice for employees. We've reached out to IBM for details about the program, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
With these wearables, employees can track how many steps they take, and these steps are converted into points, which can be donated to charity or redeemed for merchandise. Apple Watch also provides notifications to get users to keep active, reminding desk workers to stand each hour and walk around. It can also track calories, heart rate and other fitness-related goals.
Small business users
Large corporations like IBM can use wearables, like Apple Watch, to encourage employees to be healthier, which can have an affect on the bottom line. With healthier employees, IBM can benefit from reduced healthcare costs and less sick time taken by employees.
In addition to financial advantages, small business owners can also gain intangible benefits. According to the American College of Sports Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, productivity can increase by as much as 15% when employees are fit.
Fitness reduces stress and can lead to better mental and physical performance on the job. The study reported that six of ten research participants said that they were better able to meet deadlines on days when they exercised.
Other business benefits include a boost in confidence, a positive mood and more energy.
The Apple-IBM partnership
Apple's partnership with IBM may help both companies make a play for the enterprise. Apple could leverage IBM's business expertise to get its hardware into the corporate space, and IBM's cloud business could benefit as a result of building connected enterprise apps for Apple products.
IBM is also increasing its adoption of Apple notebooks. If a rumored deal pans out, IBM could become Apple's largest enterprise buyer of MacBooks.
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