Knowledge

Beyond the Buzzwords: What’s imperative to consider before picking your next wearables partner?

- Smart Sensors!

- Internet-of-Things(IoT)!

- Big Data!

- Cyber Security!

- Advanced Analytics!

- Artificial Intelligence!

- Machine Learning!

Beyond being the biggest buzz words in technology, these major forces of advancement are truly all intersecting in the enterprise wearables industry – an industry with the lofty goal of solving all your workplace related injuries and operational concerns. It’s an exciting time to be investigating the space.

To be clear, wearables in the workplace are not new. Over the years you’ve likely implemented walkie-talkie systems, ring and wrist mount scanners and voice picking products in your facility. Those were all enterprise wearables that made your organization more efficient and productive. Products like StrongArm’s FUSE platform, that equips employees with safety sensors, are just the next wave of what will become the norm in your facilities because of the undeniable value it creates, the people it protects, and the efficiencies it improves.

So, if the path of history indicates that next gen wearables are going to enhance productivity in your facility, and it’s a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ you embrace them, why does it feel like such a daunting task to pick a partner and get started? Why is the process so overwhelming?

The answer, in large part, is because with all the hype and buzz surrounding the industry, it’s hard to know what to look for in a good wearables partner. What are the most important features and concerns? It’s a tough question, but we went to work to help you out. The below list is a great way to frame a decision-making process when considering a given enterprise wearable:

Primary Question #1: What information is the wearable collecting, how is it returned to you, and what problem does it solve?

Further Questions on that Topic:

  • What are the various data inputs captured?
  • How do they analyze this data?
  • What validated models or research is this based off?
  • Do they have a technical report on findings?
  • To what extent has this model been deployed in the real world?
  • What consulting, expertise or partners do they have to aid you in the wearable safety data journey?

It is critical to make sure that the core data is valuable to you and your organization. That data must be something that can be projected and translatable to various aspects of your business. Bonus points if the wearable can prevent multiple types of risks and hazards. In addition to the data itself, your partners should be able to tailor their data analysis to your specific challenges and goals.

Primary Question #2: Can they deploy and grow at scale?

Further Questions on that Topic:

  • What is the maturity of the solution in the marketplace?
  • Can they support and deploy from hundreds to thousands of your workers across your various networks?
  • Have they done this before and have the team and expertise internally to help augment your process?
  • How do they provide training and support to thousands of your employees?

It is also critical to understand the end goal of any sort of wearable deployment. If you run a pilot or proof of concept (PoC), what will success look like from it and what could those results yield for you and your business. At StrongArm, we remember the challenges of being a new start up in our early days and not being able to keep up with a big organizations full needs. We’re fortunate to have made it to the other side and achieved a scale where we can totally support them. Technology and innovation is important but if you want to really drive lasting change in your organization, the infrastructure and support around the implementation at scale is critical.

Primary Question #3: What capabilities or policies do they have around cyber security and data management?

Further Questions on that Topic:

  • How do their devices connect to your network?
  • Does each sensor connect or multiple via gateway?
  • What connectivity options do they provide (WiFi 2.4 Ghz, 5.0 Ghz, Ethernet?)
  • Do they support WPA2 Enterprise and proxy connections?
  • How is the data stored on the wearables and transferred to their analytics systems?
  • How do they store that data?
  • What levels of encryption do they have at REST and In-Flight?
  • Have they done penetration testing?
  • If so, what were the results?
  • Are they ISO 27001/27002 compliant? Are they GDPR compliant?
  • How are they addressing user data access and security?

And that’s just the short list! A lot of this may be overwhelming, but a truly experienced partner should have simple answers and be able to explain them to anyone in your organization.

Having those questions answered and a partner to stand with you makes introductions to your IT, Data Security, and legal teams a breeze.

For a full informational post on addressing cyber and data concerns with wearable devices stay tuned for an upcoming blog post dedicated to the topic.

There’s a lot more to this decision than we can write in a blog post but if done right, there’s an enormous amount of value to be unlocked in ensuring that your most valuable assets are Proud. Protected. Productive. If you’re interested in hearing how StrongArm answers questions like these and more, please reach out to sales@strongarmtech.com