ABI Research: enterprise smartwatch shipments will reach nearly 14 million in 2022

Good news for the Apple Watch: ABI Research forecasts that enterprise smartwatch shipments will reach nearly 14 million in 2022, increasing from just more than two million in 2017. Yet, for these devices to infiltrate the workplace, vendors must address security device management and compliance at the design level, according to the research group.

"Today, very few wearable devices, including smartwatches, have enterprise-grade authentication integrated out of the box, which makes them incredibly susceptible to security breaches," says Stephanie Lawrence, Research Analyst at ABI Research. "This puts sensitive information, such as an individual's healthcare records or financial information, at risk."

ABI Research identifies several security solutions available to smartwatches, but with many enterprises touting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and the mix of devices entering the workplace on the rise, potential breaches are harder to avoid. Addressable solutions include Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), Mobile App Management (MAM), and Mobile Device Management (MDM). These solutions enable enterprises to automate the connectivity and management of devices on the corporate network.

"Enterprises interested in adopting smartwatches for use in the workforce must be aware of potential security issues to effectively mitigate them," says Lawrence. "The strategic implementation of security platforms will allow employers to maximize the benefit of an enterprise smartwatch procurement without the worry of sensitive data reaching the wrong hands."

Companies such as Apple, IBM, Kony, Samsung, and SAP frequently provide such solutions to interested organizations. In a recent survey conducted by ABI Research, 55% of respondents stated that wearables, such as head-worn and wrist-worn devices, are part of their companies' innovation strategies.