The Apple Watch and the Countdown to Smartwatches in the Enterprise

Take a look at the online comments section for any review of the Apple Watch, or any smartwatch for that matter, and consumer objections are immediately apparent. They may say ‘it’s ugly, it’s too expensive, we don’t need smartwatches, I like my dumb watch, I hate Apple, I hate Android’. Indeed, from a business perspective, it’s all too easy to dismiss the watch as a luxury plaything, as many have already. However, there were naysayers for the smartphone too and even IBM didn’t believe there was a market for the PC, standing by to let Microsoft dominate the market for years to come. Needless to say, people can be wrong, and it would be hard to argue that these two devices haven’t had a profound impact on the way in which virtually every modern business operates today. While enterprise adoption might initially be limited to simple field scenarios such as arranging meeting points, alerts, quick canned/tap email responses, as well as simple project tasks and conflict notifications. However, apps and extensions of current enterprise apps could one day enable more complex scenarios and revolutionize certain business tasks. I for one wouldn’t bet against the smartwatch for business any time soon. It’s probably not an immediate concern for most IT teams, but the implications from a Unified Endpoint Management perspective are that, over time, smartwatches essentially represent an extension of BYOD. As such, they’ll similarly require some level of management, updates and security as part of a unified endpoint management solution. This will be especially important once these devices begin enabling more complex tasks, when the volume and type of data stored on smartwatches becomes increasingly valuable.