3 Things You Should do When Preparing Your Organization for Enterprise Wearables

Written BY

Emily Friedman

April 10, 2017

Last week, Chris Croteau, General Manager of Head-worn Devices at Intel, and Jay Kim, Chief Strategy Officer of Upskill (formerly APX Labs), shared a lot of juicy information in the webinar “What’s Next: Preparing Your Organization for Enterprise Wearables.” Here are three takeaways:

  1. Know where you’re coming from to get to where you’re going

Chris and Jay kicked off the webinar by reflecting upon Industry 3.0, the first phase of digitizing the industrial base in which we began the transition from manual-based records to digital ones. Data was incorporated into systems, which allowed for tracking and analytics but also created “islands of information” and “disparate systems”—challenges that wearables and AR interfaces address.To understand the promise and opportunities for wearable technology in your business, it’s necessary to understand the challenges that came out of the revolution that preceded the one we are witnessing today. Wearables are incorporating human beings – the industrial workforce – into this next wave, transforming how workers interact with information from those systems of record in real time via a medium or form factor that doesn’t cause disruptions.

  1. Start with structured information within your current systems of record

Your current systems of record (ERPs like MES, WMS, FSM, PLM, KMS, etc.) are a great place to start. Your workers are already accessing the information stored within those systems, just most likely not in a convenient or real-time manner. Deliver the same information (corresponding to existing workflows and processes) in a new medium like Recon Jet Pro smart glasses.To do this, you’ll need software like Upskill’s Skylight platform, which provides the “connective tissue” between the systems of record enterprises already use and the next evolution in workforce enablement and management. Not all data, however, is created equal.SORs contain different types of information, some structured (like the information stored in a WMS) and some unstructured (ex. diagrams, PDFs.) Structured information is best suited to be delivered to your workforce today via smart glasses, while PDFs would have to be restructured to be made consumable through wearable tech. New data captured by smart glass technology in the field can be integrated into the SOR, as well.

  1. Take a layered approach to security

According to Jay, security is one of the most frequently-cited reasons why a wearable pilot doesn’t transition into meaningful deployment for an organization. But it is a mistake, he said, to focus just on the devices and operating systems; the right course is to take a more holistic approach to securing wearables.Multiple layers of security must be present:

  • The devices have to be secured from a physical perspective, of course
  • The OS and application running on the device must be secured (and the user should be limited in what he or she can do/access with the technology)
  • The network, integration layer connecting the technology to your existing systems of record, and your IT infrastructure—all have to be secured.

There’s hope, though! As Chris recalled, just a few years ago standard mobile device management tools did not cover smart glasses and other wearables, but now a number of solutions do support wearable devices. And as the demand and pressure to use wearable tech in the enterprise increases, management solutions and protocols will be adapted, just as they were for mobile phones.Watch the full webinar – available on demand – now, and catch Chris and Upskill’s Brian Ballard at EWTS next month.

Further Reading