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How Google Glass and Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch will change IT network management

The gradual adoption of wearable technology devices like Google Glass and the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch will present IT managers and network software providers with a range of new challenges looking ahead to 2014 and beyond, according to Ipswitch's Stephen Demianyk.

At present, wearable devices are virtually "undetectable" by network management software, he said, and it's going to be a "real challenge" for IT departments to effectively monitor them as deployment rises.

"At the moment, the way of dealing with it is not allowing people to come on to the premise with any wearable device, but that's going to change as the industry embraces the technology, which is inevitable.

"The next stage will be to look more into the management...There's going to have to be enhancements in the technology to not just monitor but control these device that come on to the network."

Wearable technology represents the next frontier in the BYOD revolution, he added - and arguably its biggest challenge to date.

He also sounded a note of caution: "It sounds like scare tactics, but there will be disasters along the way."

In Demianyk's opinion, smart watches are the greater worry due to their discreet nature and subtly integrated features - like the camera sported by the Galaxy Gear.

"Glasses are less discreet. If you slip on Google Glass, it's obvious. A watch is more discreet and it's going to be less easy to detect. In my opinion, I would say watches are more of a challenge."

Some industries in particular, he continued, will find that they have to address the issue sooner rather than later. Demianyk highlighted retail, health care, manufacturing and construction as some of the verticals likely to emerge as early adopters, due to the advantages of hands-free operation in these fields.

"The retail experience could be changed and enhanced immeasurably by Google Glass [and] if you're hands-free in a situation like an operating theatre, there's an obvious benefit, [and] in construction and manufacturing, too," he noted.

That said, Demianyk conceded that the current interest in wearable technology could prove a bit of a fad - or at least a slow-burner.

"It could be a storm in a teacup - I can't see that it's going to be adopted wholesale. [But] I think push will come to shove [for IT]."