The Internet of Things

Google-GlassIs your HR department to handle what some are calling the Internet of Things? By 2018, 95 percent of people will connect to the Internet from a smart device which currently includes Google Glass, smart watches, smartphones and other devices connected to the Internet. However, within the next three years many more devices are projected to hit the market. “The Internet of Things is here, and we are likely to see a surge in wearable devices in the workplace,” said Rob Clyde, international vice president of ISACA and CEO of Adaptive Computing. “These devices can deliver great value, but they can also bring great risk. Companies should take an ‘embrace and educate’ approach.”

Cisco’s VNI Global Mobile Data Forecast predicts that by 2018:

  • There will be 5 billion mobile users globally.
  • 52 percent of mobile traffic will come from Wi-Fi connections.
  • There will be 7.6 billion people in the world, and there will be 10.2 billion mobile connections (there will be 1.4 mobile connections per person).
  • 95 percent of mobile connections will come from smart devices,
  • 69 percent of the world’s mobile traffic will be video.

However, according to a 110 country survey of 1,646 ISACA members who are business and IT professionals, “the majority [of businesses are] not ready for wearable technology in the workplace. More than half (56 percent) say their bring your own device (BYOD) policies do not address wearables and 23 percent don’t have BYOD policies in place.”

The survey continues by warning that, “This is significant because the use of connected devices is growing, and 81 percent of the IT professionals surveyed say BYOW [bring your own wearables] is as risky as, or riskier than, BYOD.”

Jessica Miller-Merrell, CEO of Xceptional HR and founder of Blogging4Jobs states that the top three biggest concerns for HR are:

  1. divulging of trade secrets
  2. proprietary information
  3. protected health information

“Personally,” she says, “I believe the benefit outweighs the risk. We have hired employees and trust them to do a job. Having a piece of wearable tech is no different than a smartphone. If you are going to ban wearable tech at work, you should ban the smartphone as well.”

She points out that, “Right now wearable tech is big, obvious and clunky.” It’s easy to spot who is wearing it, but keep in mind that in five years it will be undetectable. Google filed a patent last year for contact lenses. Your Google Glass will likely be as small as a contact lens. The best defense for an employer is one that trains and helps employees understand how to use the tech responsibly in the workplace before it’s too small for the eye to see.”