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June 27, 2016
The connected worker
By: Ben Salama

Consumer wearables were big last year, and will be big this year. For some time now we’ve been working with our clients on prototypes and pilots around wearables in the enterprise, and this year we expect there to be more buzz at Mobile World Congress (MWC) on how these tools can really be utilised. We’ll see Connected Workers with access to more data than ever before so they can make quicker, smarter and more proactive decisions and actions, improving productivity and reducing costs for their businesses. Head mounted displays, smart watches and other new devices that we’re likely to see making waves at MWC, will enable the presentation of data from previously ‘dumb’ devices, now enabled with sensors and connectivity.

However, the Connected Worker is not just about wearables, smartphones or connected products; rather, it’s the complete relationship that a worker has with the information they need to do their job as well as possible. This might be instant access to a ‘how to’ video for the field force via a headset, or transmitting data and content back to HQ to get a ‘crowd-sourced’ opinion on how to solve a problem. While this relationship might be enabled by smartphones or other connected devices, it also necessitates mobile device and sensor management, mobile application management. As well as a consideration for network capacity and other elements of an enterprise’s IT infrastructure that will be affected by the move towards increasingly connected workers.

In addition this year, we expect to see connected products extend to connected office spaces, factories, plants and transportation such as ships and freight carriers. While at CES we heard many conversations about the connected home, MWC will add to these with a more enterprise-focused view of how the Internet of Things – and the Industrial Internet of Things – will also change our working lives and spaces.

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