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Ipswitch: One Third of European Businesses to Introduce Wearable Technology to the Workplace in 2015

December 2014 by Ipswitch

Ipswitch™ announced the results of a European online survey of IT professionals* to determine the readiness of businesses for wearable technology in 2015. The results demonstrate that a large number of wearable devices will be introduced to workplaces over the next 12 months and connect to the corporate IT infrastructure. However, very little thought has been given to the impact this will have on network performance and security, with only 13 percent of organisations saying that they have a policy in place to cover managing the impact of wearable technology.

France and Germany ahead of the UK with their plans for corporate adoption of wearable technology

Businesses in France and Germany appear to be adopting wearable technology at a faster pace than the UK. 34 percent of French and 33 percent of German businesses say they expect to introduce company owned wearable technology into the workplace during 2015. Only a quarter (25%) of businesses in the UK say they plan to do the same.

Over a third of businesses expect an influx of employee owned wearable devices

As well as looking at corporate adoption of wearable technology, the survey also asked about expectations for employee owned wearable devices entering businesses. Thirty six percent of all organisations surveyed said that they expect an ‘influx’ of employee owned Apple Watches and other wearable technology to enter the business in 2015. German businesses are expecting the highest volume of employee owned devices, with 41 percent of respondents saying they expect an influx of these devices. France (36%) and the UK (33%) were a little more conservative in their expectations.

Over three quarters of businesses have no policy in place for wearable technology

Despite expectations for corporately and personally owned wearable devices entering the workplace and joining the corporate IT infrastructure in 2015, 77 percent of all businesses surveyed said they have no policy in place for managing the impact of wearable technology entering the workplace.

Technology priorities businesses in 2015

When asked about their focus for 2015, almost half of respondents (46%) said that they wanted to spend more time planning and less time troubleshooting network problems. 11 percent agreed that they’d like to spend more time specifically planning for wearable technology entering the workplace and just over a quarter (26%) want to spend more time reviewing and tightening security policies.

Alessandro Porro, Vice President of International Sales at Ipswitch, commented, “IT infrastructure is already overloaded more than ever before and our survey indicates that this is about to get more complex in 2015 with the growing adoption of wearable technology. However, whilst it looks like many businesses plan to take full advantage of the benefits wearable technology has to offer, these productivity benefits will also be accompanied by some big challenges for IT infrastructure. If the right policies, technologies and monitoring tools are not put in place, businesses face poor network performance, low availability and the threat of security and compliance issues.

Advice for businesses – finding simple solutions for complex IT problems

According to Porro, the best approach to prepare a corporate network for the impact of wearable technology is to review and update both policies and network infrastructure. A company needs to ensure that it has the right tools in place to provide clear visibility of who is joining the corporate network, regardless of device, what they are doing and the impact of their actions on network performance.

“A large number of wearable devices joining a corporate network are likely to cause a drain on wireless bandwidth which can slow application performance. If you have a scenario where a large number of new wearables join a network, each device will want its own slice of the corporate wi-fi network. This situation will need to be closely monitored and managed.”

For organisations that need more robust monitoring solutions, Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold™ network and server availability monitoring software empowers IT teams in to improve the performance and availability of their complex IT infrastructure. Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold allows IT teams to gain the visibility and intelligence they need to solve problems on their networks, applications, and servers before end users experience problems.

* Ipswitch online survey of 316 IT Professionals was conducted in October 2014 and included 104 responses from the UK, 101 responses from France, and 111 responses from Germany.

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