How to Prepare Enterprise For Bring Your Own Wearable Device


By Kenny Sahr - Jun-06-2014

Just when you thought you were in control of BYOD, Bring Your Own Wearable Device enters enterprise. You and your IT team had better start discussing your BYOWD policies before it is too late.

The Smartwatch

The smartwatch is the most common wearable device. Whereas two years ago, few people took them seriously, today smartwatches are catching on. Here at Nubo, two of our Android developers have smartwatches. One owns the Sony Smartwatch 2 and the other owns the Garmin Forerunner 620.

The Sony Smartwatch 2 has Gmail, Facebook, sms and phone notifications. You can turn the phone ringer off and receive notifications on your arm when calls come in. The Garmin Forerunner, on the other hand, is a top-of-the-line sports watch. It tracks your exercise progress – from your running route to your pace and of course your best times.

The sports smartwatch is more practical but has a smaller market. The notification smartwatch may not be “ready for prime time,” and is a work in progress, but it could end up beating your wildest sci-fi dream in a few years.

Smartwatch at Enterprise

What do you do when your first employee comes in the office one day, showing everyone his or her new smartwatch? “Can I connect it to the wifi?” Your answer is simple – “Yes, but ..” Your office should have (at least) two wifi networks – one for serious work-only devices and another for everything else.

The smartwatch fits in the “everything else category.” Allow the giddy wearable gear owners to connect their toys to your less vulnerable wifi network. Today there are no known ways that a smartwatch can hack your network, but one day there will be. There’s no need to allow a watch to have access to your critical data.

Be Smart About Smartwatches

Don’t wait until half of your employees own smartwatches. Now is the time to be smart about smartwatches and wearable devices. Do you want them to connect to your guest wifi? Or should they only connect to your employees’ data carriers? Open the discussion now! The answer depends on the level of critical data your organization handles. Government and military organizations would be wise to skip allowing wearable devices to connect to the enterprise wifi; unlike tablets and smartphones, there’s no reasonable productivity or work claim to an exercise watch. The guest wifi is the perfect place for wearable devices.

By the end of 2014, we will know a lot more about the wearable device trend. Is it a niche market or something everyone is going to jump in on? How many of your friends and colleagues own a wearable device and are you considering buying one?