Business Benefits Crucial to Wearables

by Spencer Gisser | 02/26/2018

Wearable solution providers are discovering the importance of focusing on the business benefits that they can provide. It is not enough to offer a flexible platform upon which customers can build – wearable companies must work with partners and prospective customers to learn what metrics their solutions can improve and map a specific path to those goals. Many wearables companies have not approached the market with a business benefit framework, and these organizations have become mired in “pilot purgatory.” Appealing to forward-thinking research and development units, many wearable companies expect prospective organizations to view their products as enabling new workflows and driving business benefits. However, these prospective companies have significant difficulty gaining buy-in for wearables from their business units and do not deploy smart glasses beyond their pilots. As many trials have borne out, even multi-year pilot programs have struggled to deliver wearable solutions that drive key improvements. In addition to the fact that wearable technology is quite limited, prospective companies simply lack the insight and experience to build wearable solutions that fit their use cases. Because of these factors, some of the most successful deployments have occurred when solution providers identify exactly how their offerings can drive benefits for specific workflows before offering their solution to a prospective customer. Discovering more ways in which wearables can deliver business benefits will prove essential to opening new areas of the market to larger deployments.

For example, field service organizations see efficiency and accuracy as their two top priorities. With smart glasses, these organizations can leverage remote assistance and AI to ensure that the technician has the insight to carry out service. These technologies result in dramatically improved accuracy because they can direct the technician’s actions and detect if any tasks were performed incorrectly. Additionally, these solutions can provide the technician with step-by-step instructions that allow actions to be completed efficiently. Because wearables directly address some of field service’s most pressing priorities, field service has become one of smart glasses’ most important markets. By emphasizing how wearables can likewise address the top priorities of other sectors, solution providers can best present their offerings to prospective customers.

The need to focus on the business benefits that wearables can provide stems from the unique pressures on this market. Unlike other mobile technologies, wearables face significant initial skepticism from prospective customers that has only been overcome by emphasizing how wearables can address top priorities. Wearable form factors such as smart glasses and voice units are unfamiliar to most users, resulting in initial resistance from workforces that would be expected to use them. Additionally, the adoption of new technology beyond the traditional scope of mobile technology presents barriers in other business areas such as human resource management, and relations with unions. Wearable solution providers are learning to navigate the varied concerns and challenges that these and other areas present.

Wearables are a nascent technology, and this emerging sector faces serious obstacles to be overcome. Hurdles that prevent broader wearable adoption include high prices, poor ergonomics, limited functionality, and the lack of clear benefits to use cases. In order to spur further adoption, wearables companies need to do the following: market towards C-suite decision makers in organizations, learn where wearables can fit into customer workflows before encouraging customers to pilot the wearable solution, manufacture wearable solutions at scale to enhance efficiencies, continue to improve the comfort and functionality of wearable devices, and hardware providers must work with software providers to present wearable solutions’ full capabilities to prospective customers.

View the 2018 Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Research Outline to learn more.

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