CIOs Contemplate Leaping Into Wearable Work Environment

Wearable Computing AheadIn the past, people would have thought that the ability to put on a pair of glasses and suddenly have a virtual world projected in front of you was something out of a science fiction movie or novel. However, the day has come that technology has made that once hypothetical capability a reality. On top of that, chief information officers around the world have started to capitalize on the development, implementing wearable IT tools as a component of their companies’ practices.

With the release of Google Glass, individuals can now expect a wearables revolution. Consumers have already been receptive to these solutions, and a number of applications are in the works so that members of the general public will be able to do everything from playing games to viewing directions without having to look them up.

While this is all well and good for the average American, some may be wondering how wearable IT could benefit individuals in the working world. Fortunately, it appears that professionals will not be left out of the mix, as CIOs from a wide range of organizations may soon be looking to incorporate advancements like Google Glass into their day-to-day operations.

Businesses to embrace wearable IT wave
Divina Paredes with New Zealand’s CIO Magazine explained that these wearables are bound to make an appearance throughout businesses due to the technology’s promise to foster multitasking, increase efficiency and drive productivity. As the use of mobile IT has already escalated among industries across the board, wearables are the next step in this growing trend that could bring companies to the next level of innovation, making it a tempting option for tech departments and corporations overall.

Sulabh Sharma, managing director of Sush Mobile in Auckland, New Zealand, told CIO Magazine that at the moment, companies are likely to adopt wearables as a complement to their existing technologies and communications tools. For the time being, as many of these solutions are still in the experimental phases, being slowly introduced to organizations, executives are likely to test out exactly how these developments fit into the bigger IT picture. Consequently, wearables won’t be acting as full-out replacements.

“It is something that might not take over phones but it will still be a screen, a second screen that will take away a lot of interactions from your phones,” Sharma told CIO New Zealand. “These are good for clients and corporations where you have to consume small amounts of information which is frequent. But you will still be going back to your tablets and phones for more intense information.”

Google Glass is only the first step
CIOs are definitely contemplating jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to these tools. While a share of people in the business world may have a narrower view of how these solutions can be employed, focusing on Google Glass and the somewhat limited applications it offers, other CIOs have recognized the incredible potential that wearables present.

“It is not just Google Glass,” Sharma stated. “Wearable devices are going to be one of the key components in the whole digital strategy for businesses.”

InformationWeek explained that the realm of wearables is rapidly expanding, as developers come up with a rising number of applications that can be leveraged to revolutionize specialized functions required by a variety of industries. As more and more solutions are released, wearables may prove worth the steep investment that companies have to make to get their hands on these lightweight gadgets. For instance, the source stated that despite these IT tools being currently used for gaming and navigation purposes, they offer a wealth of data-rich opportunities into which tech professionals need to tap.

Privacy concerns are nothing new
If CIOs plan to make moves in terms of implementing these solutions, their businesses may have to sort out a couple of privacy issues posed. InformationWeek pointed out that with wearables, executives and upper-level management could use them to keep close tabs on employees. Any data collected on these technologies on the part of staff members could be monitored. In addition, high-ranking personnel may be able to pinpoint employee locations at any time. Although these seem like major privacy concerns – not to mention, hint at a borderline dystopian situation stemming right from a page of a Vonnegut novel – mobile technology already integral to business functions present the same possibilities. Despite the legitimacy of these worries, wearables aren’t the first type of IT to do this.

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