An estimated 43 percent of organizations worldwide now use connected devices associated with the Internet of Things, according to research from Gartner. This figure is expected to increase over the course of the year, along with the total number of enterprise IoT fixtures in use.
By the end of 2017, businesses will collectively maintain more than 5.5 billion devices. While this widespread embrace of IoT technology opens up exciting new operational opportunities, it also possess serious problems for internal human resource teams.
Risk accompanies productivity gains
Many enterprise-grade IoT devices are used for tracking purposes, FastCompany reported. This allows companies to collect data on key operational workflows and use those insights to make improvements that boost efficiency and, ultimately, earning potential. However, some organizations are using connected fixtures to track employees as well. Why? For the few enterprises experimenting with this use case, it's all about maximizing productivity in the workplace.
Earlier this year, The Boston Consulting Group outfitted 100 volunteers in its Manhattan office with identification badges containing location beacons and small microphones, Bloomberg reported. The devices record the physical and verbal actions of their users – data BCG will anonymize and review to better understand how office design affects employee communication.
Of course, various HR risks accompany this approach. Could this information be used against employees? Would the simple act of tracking worker movement disrupt internal culture? These are serious concerns. And, when you add the data security complications that come with introducing IoT technology, the situation only grows more complex, according to the Society For Human Resource Management.
"Organizations embarking on IoT initiatives of any kind must bolster their HR resources to address new challenges."
HR personnel prepare for disruption
Organizations embarking on IoT initiatives of any kind must bolster their HR resources to address new challenges that come along with connected device use, whether it be in the office or on the shop floor.
This may necessitate recruiting new HR managers and representatives who have the technical know-how and people-management skills required to support employees in the age of enterprise IoT.
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