A Forrester Research survey of technology and business decision-makers has called 2015 “the year of the wearable,” due in large part to the introduction of the Apple Watch. Although the most popular wearable technology has focused on fitness applications, including smart shirts and wristbands, new wearable solutions are making their way to the enterprise. In fact, nearly seven in 10 respondents to the Forrester study believe wearables are a priority for their organization, while slightly more than half view wearable technology as moderate, high or critical priority.

Wearable technology refers to Internet-connected devices that can be worn on the body and exchange data with a network. Given the association between fitness and wearables, it’s relatively easy to connect the dots between wearables and healthcare solutions that monitor heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels. However, wearable technology is capable of transforming virtually any business process.

New research from Salesforce shows that 76 percent of early adopters of wearables in the enterprise report improvements in business performance, and 79 percent claim wearables are or will be strategic to their organization’s success. The use of wearable technology is expected to triple in the next two years, with implementations focused on improving the customer experience.

62 percent of survey respondents are using, piloting or planning to use smartwatches within two years to improve sales intelligence and create a more personalized customer experience. The use of data is a key growth area as only 8 percent of adopters claim to be ready to leverage employee and customer data produced by wearable technology. The expansion of the wearable application ecosystem for the enterprise and the development of more sophisticated devices are expected to drive adoption.

More and more enterprises are finding that unified communications (UC) applications are a natural fit for wearable technology. Just like fitness solutions are capable of sensing different types of exercise and automatically adjusting the workout mode, wearable UC can integrate all forms of communication into one portable, multifunctional solution. This capability only adds to the improvements in productivity, speed and customer service that traditional UC solutions provide.

ShoreTel recently announced that ShoreTel Mobility is one of the first UC applications for the Apple Watch. Already a leader in the traditional UC space, ShoreTel now enables users to access an enterprise UC system on the wrist instead of pulling out their smartphone or tablet. In addition to securely answering calls, viewing and sending messages, and receiving alerts, ShoreTel Mobility users can join a meeting by voice or video with a single tap.

Enterprises have only begun to scratch the surface of what wearables can deliver in terms of business value. Let IPC Tech determine how ShoreTel Mobility can boost employee productivity and enhance the customer experience, and then help you develop a strategy for implementation.