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Wearable Technology in the Workplace: A Double-Edged Sword

Wearable Technology in the Workplace: A Double-Edged Sword
Wearable Technology in the Workplace

As the bring your own device movement (BYOD) continues to gain speed, SMBs will likely include new wearable technology in their business policies. In order to reap the benefits of allowing this technology in the workplace, SMBs must weigh the risks and rewards.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

A recent article featured in the Phoenix Business Journal looks at some of the issues businesses should consider before allowing or preventing the use of wearable technology in the workplace. Wearable technology has both advantages and disadvantages, and businesses need to conduct a risk versus reward benefit analysis to ascertain if introducing the technology into the workplace is the right decision.

For example, smartwatches may help a retail business easily access customer information, creating a seamless customer experience. However, that same technology could record proprietary company information or employee conversations, which can in turn damage a business’s competitive edge or tarnish its reputation. A business needs to determine what it stands to lose and decide if the advantages gained are worth it or not.

Reduce Risks and Reap Benefits

In order to keep sensitive information in the hands of the business, SMBs will need the proper security measures and practices in place to mitigate risks. Security awareness training is helpful to ascertain that employees use mobile or wearable technology appropriately, and to ensure that there is an understanding of the possible consequences of mishandling data. This will allow the business to both maintain compliance and protect sensitive information. Since compliance and risk typically go hand in hand, maintaining compliance when introducing a new technology should reduce risks and make the associated benefits more attainable.

Facilitating open discussions between appropriate business executives and IT staff also increases the likelihood that potential security issues can be overcome. In turn, the business can prevent data loss by establishing policies that aim to strengthen data governance and security. SMBs can also incorporate data loss prevention programs to lessen risks.

When done right, wearable technology in the workplace may help SMBs transform business processes, increase flexibility and achieve productivity gains, especially as applications geared toward business needs become more available.

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