Salesforce, which has considerable skin in the wearables game, is out with a survey today showing that enterprises are trying out wearables for workplace security, employee time management, and real-time communication. Coming soon, the company says, are pilot projects in business analytics and field service.
Salesforce surveyed about 1,500 companies; of those, 500 said they were either using wearables or planning to use them. Of those, 79 percent said wearables in the enterprise were “strategic,” (the other 21 percent are presumably just messing around) and 86 percent said they would increase their spend over the next year.
Today, the company’s research said, enterprises are trying lots of things in more or less equal proportion: tracking workplace productivity, giving real-time access to customer data, providing hands-free instruction for field service or training for remote workers, augmented reality, and monitoring biometric vitals. But the future interest is narrowly tracking toward technologies that will improve customer experiences: access to customer data, analytics, field service data, and remote training.
When asked about equipment, about half the respondents said that smart watches would have the largest impact on enterprises (40 percent), followed by digital bands or lanyards like the Nymi authentication bracelet (37 percent), smart glasses (36 percent). Fitness bands, smart cameras, and next-gen earbuds each were named by roughly a third of the survey pool.
A major remaining challenge is the collection of information by wearables. Visors and wristwear are good at presenting information, but less good at gathering and transmitting it. Of those surveyed, 23 percent said data collection and aggregation is major challenge, and just 8 percent said they were fully ready to take action of data gathered by wearables.