Organizations are adopting devices connected to the Internet of Things at a breakneck pace. In fact, more than half of all organizational workflows will include these tools by 2020, according to research from Gartner. When confronted with this shift, most envision future office workers equipped with well-known enterprise mobile technologies like smartwatches and tablets. While this outcome may indeed unfold, some businesses are looking past everyday devices and adopting next-generation IoT implements.
Employee data collection gains a foothold
The Boston Consulting Group is one of these pioneering firms, Bloomberg reported. Earlier this month, the company distributed IoT-enabled badges to 100 employees in its Manhattan office. The identification tags are equipped with microphones and location sensors, allowing information technology staff to collect data on worker activity. BCG has pledged to compile the information into anonymous reports and use it solely to understand how the physical office environment impacts worker communication. The Boston-based technology company Humanyze developed the IoT badges and offers an accompanying mobile application that allows users to track anyone wearing its devices.
"More than half of all organizational workflows will include IoT devices by 2020."
Privacy concerns abound
Of course, many employees bristle at the idea of being watched at work. Indeed, even volunteers participating in the BCG trial had reservations. Would the organization use the data during performance reviews? Are superiors listening in to conversations among coworkers?
Officials for Humanyze say that the badges deployed at BCG do not record the content of employee discussions, according to The Washington Post. Instead, the devices record speech patterns. Additionally, administrators can only access anonymous data, protecting badge-wearers. More importantly, Humanyze emphasizes the importance of employee choice is when speaking with potential clients.
"Those are things we hammer home," Ben Waber, CEO for the firm, told The Post. "If you don't give people choice, if you don't aggregate instead of showing individual data, any benefit would be dwarfed by the negative reaction people will have of you coming in with this very sophisticated sensor."
As these technologies and associated best practices continue to crystallize, more organizations will surely work with partners like Humanyze to integrate cutting-edge IoT technology into workplace. However, potential adopters must have modern systems to get the most out of web-enabled enterprise gear. Inventu offers a host of IT modernization tools, including the Flynet Viewer. This cost-effective solution supports large-scale deployments and meets the needs of employees and organizations in a way the feels both familiar and simple.