–Can the Apple Watch prove to be beneficial for businesses?
Ever since Apple showcased its plan to step into the wearable technology market using its Watch, thought leaders have been speculating on its potential applications in driving business growth.
There is no question that the Watch will be embraced with open arms by customers as technology enthusiasts are sure to adopt the latest and fashionable wearable technologies. According to BI Intelligence, Apple’s Watch is anticipated to capture almost half of the smartwatch market by 2017.
The question though, is that how excited are businesses by the Watch? Is there a soft spot for wearable technology in the hearts of CIOs and CEOs? Can the Watch offer new ways of driving business value to corporations?
After all, Google Glass received its fair share of praise for helping the airlines industry improve customer service by infusing data with everyday tasks. The rising emphasis of the Internet of things (IoT) is quickly materializing into a network of physical components and technologies, and the pressure on I&O leaders to extend their department’s BYOD policy could involve the large-scale adoption of wearable technologies such as the Watch.
Proliferation of Business Apps
What really made the iPhone stand out were the diverse applications covering a range of categories, from productivity apps to entertainment, business to health and fitness. The Watch will not be missing out on these as companies race to develop apps for the wearable technology platform.
There are various apps which consumers are anxiously waiting to download on their Apple Watch; but notable among those which can potentially catch the attention of the business folk include: Salesforce, which lets you have access to your company analytical tools via the cloud, Slack, that allows you to chat with your co-workers, and BetterWatch, that can allow HR and department managers to track and assess the goals of their employees.
More importantly, Windows’ launch of its own PowerPoint and OneDrive apps for the Watch signal the importance and relevance of the gadget for businesses.
How can the Watch help businesses
There are a number of ways that the Watch can be of relevance to corporations with regard to growth. Aside from apps that could be argued to provide only a limited use for businesses, the Watch could be eyed as an important business opportunity in the following ways:
Secure mobile payments
Corporations have enough to worry about what with the escalating rise of cyber security threats in the form of phishing and DDoS attacks, and cloud computing, despite being widely adopted, being subject to serious security risks. SMBs which are keen to attain the benefits of cost-effective, large data storage face high threats.
This is why the Watch’s Apple Pay system, a recent development by Apple that lets users have safe and secure transactions can provide better ways to protect corporate identity. Employees of an organization can safely manage its banking operations via Apple Pay, for example.
Increased employee productivity
As mentioned earlier, the requirement to extend the BYOD policy in an effort to further workforce productivity can be realized using the Apple Watch. Wearable technology, after all, is one of the foremost trends affecting workforce enablement. Worker autonomy is usually limited in corporations that inhibit productivity and growth.
Corporations can instead utilize innovative ways of letting employees use their Watch to have access to data and communication in a far more convenient way. Apps such as Slack can be used to foster greater departmental cohesion in order to drive productivity and growth.
Corporations need innovative ways of using wearable technology to further their ends and achieve a competitive edge over rivals. The extent to which Apple’s Watch can benefit businesses depends on how creatively CIO and I&O leaders craft strategies that make effective use of such technologies.