Wearables market spreading to enterprises as Target hands out Fitbit trackers to employees

Target is offering free Fitbit activity trackers to its more than 300,000 employees as part of an effort to encourage a healthier lifestyle and decrease healthcare costs.

The deal is said to be one of Fitbit’s largest corporate accounts thus far. Target workers who opt into Fitbit’s corporate wellness program will receive the Fitbit Zip clip-on tracker and will be organised into teams to participate in a month-long competition. Employers will be able to see employees’ activity, such as steps taken per day, via a dashboard. The winners will receive a $1m donation to go to a charity of their choosing.

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451 Research senior analyst Raúl Castañón commented:”Who doesn’t want a brand new gadget for free? News outlets covering the story have focused on how this will impact the price of Fitbit shares and reduce healthcare costs at Target. All of this is relevant but there is even more to this story. First of all, this signals that the market for IoT and wearable devices is growing and expanding beyond the smart home and into the enterprise. Secondly, while this is in the end a consumer device that employees will have access to, it underlines how the IoT and wearable devices will transform the enterprise; as these devices become more prevalent, IT will be faced with the challenge of providing the infrastructure that will support a growing number of connected devices.

Raul Castanon-Martinez, senior analyst, 451 Research
Raul Castanon-Martinez, senior analyst, 451 Research

This will require a completely different approach and companies such as Samsung and Verizon are getting ready to address the challenge. This is a vision of things to come; we believe the full business value of the mobile workforce sits at the intersection of the IT and telecoms worlds. In order to realise the full potential of the mobile workforce, mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology vendors and companies must come together to support a myriad of services in real time, providing employees with the right tools and data when they need them and where they need them. The opportunity for mobile operators and technology vendors is in understanding how to develop and improve services that will integrate all the right elements to deliver a seamless experience for the mobile worker.”

This blog published by the author Raul Castanon-Martinez, senior analyst, 451 Research

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