Wear Your Own Device set to become next big headache for IT departments

Some 83 percent of NHS trusts have no wearables strategy in place

Businesses in the UK need to plan for the onset of the Wear Your Own Device (WYOD) trend following the launch of the Apple Watch, a US networking company has said.

Massachusetts-based Ipswitch believes that the Apple Watch is the most significant development so far for the mainstream adoption of wearable technology.

But the company argues that networks will soon come under strain and slow down as employees connect their Apple Watches and other wearable devices to them.

"Very few [businesses] are prepared for the impact that these devices will have on the corporate network," said Austin O'Malley, chief product officer at Ipswitch. "Even the healthcare sector, the much hailed early adopter of wearable technology, is not prepared for Apple throwing it's might behind the wearable device.

"If you thought that BYOD caused the IT department headaches, then think again and think fast," he said. "Wear Your Own Device is about to take off, big time. In early 2015, wearable technology will be commonplace in every business and every organisation across the UK."

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request filed by Ipswitch revealed just how unprepared the healthcare sector is.

When asked specifically about managing wearable technology entering the workplace - from Google Glass to smartwatches - 83 percent of NHS trusts admitted to having no strategy in place.

Analysts at Forrester predicted that Apple will dominate the wearables market in 2015, before losing market share to competitors like Google and Amazon.

The wearables market itself is expected to generate revenues of $53 billion (£32.91 billion) by 2019, according to analysts at Juniper Research.

Juniper anticipates that many of the more advanced technologies for wearables will be developed first for the enterprise and healthcare segments, which have clearer use cases. These segments will drive wearable technology forward, before being adapted for the consumer sector.

O'Malley added: "Businesses and organisations need to plan ahead for WYOD before it impacts on network performance and security."

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Tags IT managementmobileGoogleAppleNetworkingdata protectionIpswitchconsumer electronicsregulatory complianceNHSaccessoriesPersonal TechWearables

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