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Enterprise Wearable Device Market Reaches $10.5B

Wearable technologies are entering the workplace. ABI Research forecasts enterprise wearable device revenue -- such as smartwatches, smart glasses, and wearable scanners -- will exceed $55 billion in 2022, which is growing from an estimated $10.5 billion in 2017.

With a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) that surpasses 39 percent, these devices will improve productivity, reduce errors, and save time training both new and seasoned enterprise workers.

The implementation of strong supporting IT platforms is now essential to ensure proper employee access, storage, and security of all wearable device data.

Enterprise Wearables Market Development

"Wearables have much less in-built security and authentication protocols than other devices and so require robust security platforms to ensure data safety," said Stephanie Lawrence, research analyst at ABI Research.

Supporting platforms enable IT teams to determine what business information the wearables can access, monitor their usage, create customized applications, and remotely control the devices. This ultimately safeguards the commercial data from being compromised.

Companies such as Augmate, PTC, Salesforce, Total Communicator Solutions, and Upskill provide these supporting platforms to interested enterprises. Often these applications are available via Software as a Service (SaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, and can come with a one-time set up fee with a monthly or yearly fee based on number of devices, users, and/or applications.

According to the ABI Research assessment, as companies require stronger security protocols, these device management platforms will mature. However, wearable platforms differ from other device platforms, as they require specific applications that can support a wide variety and wearables from different vendors.

For example, the diversity of smartwatches -- with different operating systems and face shapes -- often causes hardware technology or software incompatibility issues when creating new applications.

Outlook for Wearable Application Management

However, most wearable platforms can be supported by enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions -- such as mobile device management (control over the whole device), mobile application management (control over a software application), and mobile content management (control over the digital media within an application).

Each solution provides its own benefits, allowing enterprise IT teams to control certain aspects of the wearable platform deployment. ABI Research finds that the best supporting platforms supply several of these solutions to ensure that all data and devices are kept secure.

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