In its Tech Trends 2014 report Deloitte states: "The primary goal of wearables is to enable users to take real-world actions by providing relevant, contextual information precisely at the point of decision-making. Wearables shine in scenarios where using a laptop, phone, tablet, or other conventional device may not be appropriate as well as in making use of the data gathered by sensors."
Already existing service providers such as Salesforce have wearables development packs that link the leading wearable technologies to its CRM platform. Expect to see more of this type of development, as wearables expand in the marketplace.
What wearables mean to you
As a small business owner now is the time to consider how wearable technologies could be leveraged by your enterprise. Follow these steps to help you evaluate what wearables mean to your business:
1. Evaluate your business' products, services and business processes
Wearables are not just about developing new applications and services. Many businesses will also benefit by using wearables to increase the efficiency of their internal processes. Of course extending your enterprises services and so forth to wearables should also be considered. Would your customers want this kind of service or delivery mechanism?
2. Test the wearables ecosystem
It is very early days for all the wearable technologies that have appeared on the market so far. Small businesses are in a superb position to evaluate each platform and relate these to their stated business goals. Also, wearables are modular systems making them ideal to build highly specific customer-orientated services and products.
3. Start now!
All of the leading developers of wearables have development platforms that any business can use now. Testing these systems will allow your business to see if they can offer any tangible benefits to your company or customers.
4. Consumer behaviour
The wearable technologies that have appeared so far require a new way of communicating. The 'glance' means information must be delivered with new user interfaces. Small businesses have the agility to test new interfaces to find the right one for their products or services.
5. BYOD extends to wearables
The shift to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has transformed smaller enterprises in particular. BYOW (Bring Your Own Wearable) is clearly how this phenomenon will develop. Your business needs to pay attention to this evolution to ensure it can be fully leveraged within a secure working environment.
What is clear is that wearables have the potential to have a massive impact on not only how businesses deliver goods and services, but also how they operate. Small business owners need to consider all these aspects to ensure they don't miss out on the opportunities that wearables offer.
Nigel Beighton, UK CTO of Rackspace, said: "Many wearable technologies are focused on improving some aspect of an individual's life – whether that's health and fitness, focus and concentration, productivity or job satisfaction. The big step change for both individuals and businesses is being able to analyse the raw data and understand the wider context surrounding the data, such as the weather location, posture, even temperature and mood of the individual.
"By focusing on the data as well as the devices, wearable technologies can provide meaningful insights that can be used to improve performance and satisfaction. Essentially wearable tech and big data go hand-in-hand."
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