EWeek recently featured a thought provoking piece discussing why Google Glass is not suitable for the enterprise world. But while there were some reasons given that should give businesses some pause for thought, I completely disagree with this conclusion.
I think Google Glass will find its way into business – and this is not just about bring-your-own-device (BYOD), although that is a big factor. We simply can't ignore the fact that the IT business landscape has changed.
It's no longer about IT telling a worker: "Here's your work-assigned computer, here are the programs you are allowed to use, and have at it." The worker is now asking IT: "These are technology devices I use in my daily life. How can I get my work done with them?" The "consumerisation of IT" – a phrase used ad nauseam – is one big reason why Google Glass will find its way into enterprises, but here are a few others.
Security concerns aren't a problem
The eWeek article cited security concerns as a major roadblock against adoption. However, the same concerns were expressed about mobile devices, and yet they have found their place in enterprise IT. I also think as more millennials and younger people join the workforce, they will be used to entrusting data to hosted services like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, so wariness of security threats will lessen, and such issues won’t prohibit that generation from using Google Glass in the workplace.
Custom business mobile app stores
As with smartphones, Google Glass will be built around the app ecosystem. App stores are all over the place, right? What's become an emerging trend are apps stores tailored for business. There are companies that will custom-build business app stores for clients. One is SaaS Markets. Even Microsoft, through Windows Intune, allows businesses to set up an app store of sorts – by creating a company portal for users, where employees can download company apps to their mobile devices. This is going to be more of a trend – companies will be filtering out the noise of the consumer-focused app stores like Google Play, and they’ll just present workers with the apps they need to get their job done.
I think this may be the biggest motivator for using Google Glass in a business environment. Imagine being anywhere, and simply tapping your glasses to connect to a global meeting. How convenient is that? Google Glass plus collaborative video conferencing has big potential.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) is still very much in its infancy. I don't think the tech market expected the rapid and widespread adoption of mobile devices (and we’ve truly seen an explosive adoption rate). I get pitches constantly from vendors who are really pushing their MDM tools and platforms. And before, MDM was largely a concern of big businesses. Well, now we are seeing solutions for small to medium-sized businesses.
There are always concerns about security and data leakage with personal mobile devices in businesses. But we can expect to see a lot of innovation in this area in the next few years where bringing Glass onto the network will be as easy as managing a laptop.
Design will be streamlined
Yeah, I think the glasses look kind of silly, as do many people. But remember, this is just a prototype and as the technology matures, the device will get smaller and lighter. So, if you can't imagine wearing Google Glass to a board meeting in its current incarnation, that design is likely to change.
The bottom line is that Google Glass is just another mobile device, which is likely to get mobile wireless support. As with Androids, iPhones, and Windows Phones, it will fit fine in the business world.