It’s inevitable that after every wave of innovation, another crest is quick on its heels. In this case, as mobile technology continues to dominate fields of personal and corporate communication, another game-changing capability is quickly growing in size and scope—wearable technology. By enabling users to be physically tethered to their preferred device, this new crop of tools is not only changing how employees work but where—driving everything from simpler Point-of-Sale transactions to a more immersive customer experience.
According to a February 2015 Salesforce report of 500 wearable tech adopters, 79 percent agree that wearables are or will be strategic to their company’s future success, 76 percent are already seeing improved business performance as a result of implementation, and 86 percent plan to increase their wearable technology spend over the next 12 months. While the umbrella of “wearable tech” includes an array of emerging solutions such as digital lanyards and smart glasses, smart watches are one of the most common applications, led by the recently released Apple Watch. In fact, according to the Salesforce report, adopters believe smart watches will have the biggest impact (49 percent) and the quickest enterprise adoption rate (40 percent), and 62 percent are currently using, piloting, or planning to use smart watches in the next two years.
The potential for smart watches to be a transformative player in the CRM industry cannot be overlooked—by capturing employee and customer business intelligence (BI) across the enterprise, such tools can drive more accurate forecasts and more targeted campaigns. However, as this space is still in its infancy, such functionality may take some time to develop, as only 8 percent of adopters say they are completely ready to gain actionable insights from the magnitude of data that smart watches could potentially generate, and 23 percent of companies piloting or currently using wearable tech cite data collection and aggregation as one of their biggest deployment challenges. What sorts of actions and trends are expected to help drive future growth?
A Growing App Ecosystem
Technology is only useful if people know how to apply it to their daily lives—including their role-specific workplace functions. As wearable tech grows in popularity, an ecosystem of business apps can help users find applicable and appropriate ways to apply the technology to both their personal and professional lives. Many adopters are already on board to support—29 percent of Salesforce respondents develop wearable applications in addition to using them.
A Convenient BYOW Policy
According to the Salesforce report, 54% of adopters currently support a Bring Your Own Wearable (BYOW) model and 40% plan to support this model in the future. Such flexibility could encourage user adoption and improve productivity.
Innovative Workplace Deployments
With such built-in agility, it comes as no surprise that smart watches could potentially impact the way businesses work in a big way. From safeguarding workplace security access to enabling a more integrated shopping and customer loyalty program experience, the possibilities for smart watch integration are boundless, and growth will rely on how well these objectives are translated into technology that can deliver a more powerful result than traditional methods.
In the case of CRM, any technology with the potential to bring customers and employees into more meaningful and long-term conversation is one worth exploring. Companies are more engaged than ever today, and the expectation for immediate feedback is at an all-time high, setting the stage for wearable tech revolution, and with smart watches leading the way—it’s just a matter of time.
To learn more about this exciting new technology, please contact any member of our consulting team at [email protected]. We also encourage you to contact Tokara’s VP of Business Development, Mark Fillingim, directly at +1 972-719-0213.
“Putting Wearables to Work,” Salesforce Research https://secure.sfdcstatic.com/assets/pdf/misc/StateOfWearablesReport.pdf.