Last updateThu, 17 Sep 2020 8pm

Tech Leaders See Wearables Working In The Workplace

81 Percent of CIOs Agree on Adoption, but Time Estimates Vary

As wearables gain popularity, it's just a matter of time before workplace applications start to emerge, research shows. In a new survey from Robert Half Technology, 81 percent of CIOs said they believe wearable computing devices, such as watches and glasses, will become common workplace tools. Among this group, the majority expect to see workplace-wearables within five years. Wearables could potentially be used to record meetings, scan documents, provide navigation and take photographs for business.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 2,400 CIOs at U.S. companies with 100 or more employees in 24 metropolitan areas.

CIOs were asked, "When, if at all, do you think wearable technology, such as the Apple Watch or Google Glass, will be a commonly used workplace tool? "Their responses:

Wearables will happen in the workplace (total)


Will happen within the next three to five years


Will happen, but it's more than five years out


Will happen within one to two years


Will happen as soon as one year out


Wearable technology won't commonly be used in the workplace


Don't know




*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.


"Mobility and connectivity expectations for business have grown, making the ability to gain access anywhere, anytime imperative," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Emerging technologies such as wearables may help drive enterprise mobility and create a need for IT expertise to support their adoption at work."

Robert Half Technology offers three questions for IT leaders to consider when evaluating whether to support wearables for the business:

Will this implementation enhance our business and/or productivity? Consider whether or not a new technology benefits your company and how it will add value to the business. Beyond hopping on a new trend, it's vital to measure the long-term benefits of additional devices and how they could positively impact the workplace. Effectively answering this question will help communicate the potential value to leaders in the organization.
Am I aware of security risks and is the company equipped to handle them? New technologies have the potential to introduce security vulnerabilities. Technology leaders must understand ─ and communicate to other business leaders ─ the difference in security risk levels with enterprise-provided wearables versus employees' personal devices and develop plans and policies to match.
Have I prepared a sound policy, communications plan and training strategy around wearable technology at the office? It's crucial to have a preemptive communications approach that will address any new policies and necessary training. Preparedness will be fundamental to the successful adoption of wearables for the workplace.


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