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Google: CIOs need to give up BYOD fight and prepare for wearable tech revolution

03 Apr 2014

Android Wear is a platform designed for smartwatchesGoogle has warned CIOs to stop resisting bring your own device (BYOD), and urged them to prepare their systems for wearable technology.

Google head of Enterprise in Northern Europe Thomas Davies argued that IT managers can no longer stop employees using consumer devices for work purposes, during a speech at the company's Atmosphere London event.

"BYOD: that ship has sailed. Now we're into bring your own apps. The next wave is going to be bring your own wearables. The reality is there's no such thing as an IT perimeter. We need to find a way to harness the power of consumerisation technology and bring it into the enterprise," he said.

"I tell you now, any consumer technology used by lots of people that's easy to use and intuitive will come into your workplace."

Davies added that CIOs will have to begin preparing for mass wearable adoption now if they hope to benefit. "The pace of change right now is at the slowest it ever will be. We're in the good period, transformation speeds are going to speed up and it's going to get worse and worse. Trends are happening so fast now there's a danger of missing a big one," he said.

Google's UK managing director Dan Cobley said he expects the wearable revolution to follow the same pattern seen in the smartphone market.

"The average number of devices [owned by one person] has gone from 2.3 to three over the last few years. This trend will continue. We will live in a six-screen world. By six screens I mean tablets, smartphones, desktops, cars, wearables and smart TVs," he said.

"Our goal is to make our clients understand how to reach customers in the six-screen world. The critical thing to understand is that consumers have changed the way they live with their tech. They now depend on their devices, they need them and use them for everything, but they're also masters of them. We [businesses] need to find the points where putting your brand message in front of them matters."

He added that Google has already worked to take advantage of this trend with its Android Wear operating system. "Recently, we announced Android Wear. We're hoping it will become the industry standard, as Android has on the mobile," he said.

Android Wear is a new version of the Google operating system for use on wearable devices, such as smartwatches, unveiled in March. The OS has advanced location, biometric and metadata-collecting powers that could prove invaluable to businesses looking to mount targeted advertising campaigns.

Google Enterprise president Amit Singh said it will still be some time before Android Wear is ready for direct enterprise use. "Our innovation starts with small groups first. Android Wear will start at the consumer end of the market first and then, like we did with Android, we'll scale it. Wearable will develop in the next few years and find its place in enterprise," he said.

Google is one of many technology firms to urge businesses to accept they cannot stop the BYOD trend. Samsung argued that enterprise CIOs and CTOs must prepare their company systems to securely run multiple platforms, including Android, during a briefing at CES in Las Vegas in January.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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