Canalys: Wearables will 'will rock the IT industry'

Summary:Get ready for a new tech buzzword to add to the lexicon: "appcessories."

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Wearables shouldn't just be brushed off as new (albeit) pricey toys. Based on a new report from Canalys, the burgeoning wearable technology market is going to make a big splash in the enterprise world soon too.

The market research firm published a forecast on Thursday that the consumerization of IT is about to "rock the IT industry."

Nothing terribly shocking about that assessment, but analysts did introduce a new term into the lexicon for this space: "appcessories."

Defined as "smaller app-enabled devices," Canalys researchers clarified this includes wearables, predicting that connected wristbands, eyewear, and sensors embedded within clothing will give birth to "a new era" in which location, movements and even visual focal points are tracked.

To some people, that picture is a rather scary one. But for others who want their technology to work for them by making the owners more productive, it could be a dream come true.

As far as the business of wearables is concerned, Canalys senior analyst Tim Shepherd pointed toward this new form of mobility could be used both sides of the customer wall.

By focusing on user experience, app developers have revolutionized how new functionality is brought to market and how behavior and activity are measured. Enterprise customers have started to exploit this capability across several disciplines, including product design, marketing, customer services and operations, and buying points are changing as a result.

But wearables could also have the potential to completely change how some companies advertise themselves.

Canalys president and CEO Steve Brazier remarked that, "the trend is for every enterprise to become a software company," hinting that is likely because "decades-old business processes and practices are being challenged by customers and employees using apps to engage with each other."

"We are familiar with the role software has played in automating operations and improving efficiency, but we now see software being part of product design, and software as the medium for marketing and customer service delivery," said Brazier.

Topics: Mobility, Enterprise 2.0, Hardware, IT Policies, IT Priorities

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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