As an amateur triathlete for the last several years, I have a wearable \/ IoT ecosystem in the form of my training gear. I have a wearable GPS watch that provides time, distance and speed\/pace for the swim, bike and run, and three wireless sensors in the form of a heart monitor, a weight scale, and a cadence and power meter on the bike. All three of these sensors communicate their data back to the GPS watch, which provides a highly configurable display. This custom ecosystem gives me valuable data about my training and overall progress.\n\nIn terms of wearables, it will be interesting to see which technologies, brands and products -- wearable fabrics, glasses and watches -- really catch on in both the consumer and enterprise marketplaces, how these are integrated into a variety of IoT ecosystems, and what new, digitally transformed, business models and processes gain the most traction.\n\nHere are some things I\u2019ve observed from my wearable \/ IoT ecosystem and the three big lessons I think will apply to enterprise IT.\n\t\t\t\n\tAs emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. \u00a0Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well.\n\tAs evidenced by the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, there\u2019s an amazing amount of innovation and experimentation going on right now related to wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT). Gartner estimates that the installed base of the IoT will grow to 26 billion units by 2020, which excludes PCs, tablets and smartphones.\n\tIn terms of wearables, it will be interesting to see which technologies, brands and products -- wearable fabrics, glasses and watches -- really catch on in both the consumer and enterprise marketplaces, how these are integrated into a variety of IoT ecosystems, and what new, digitally transformed, business models and processes gain the most traction.\n\tTo get a sense of where things may be heading, at least in the \u201cquantified self\u201d arena (just one portion of the IoT), I thought it would be interesting to look at an already well-established, specialized wearable\/IoT ecosystem to see what conclusions could be drawn for other ecosystems. \u00a0\n\tAs an amateur triathlete for the last several years, I have a wearable \/ IoT ecosystem in the form of my training gear. I have a wearable GPS watch that provides time, distance and speed\/pace for the swim, bike and run, and three wireless sensors in the form of a heart monitor, a weight scale, and a cadence and power meter on the bike. All three of these sensors communicate their data back to the GPS watch, which provides a highly configurable display. The GPS watch and the heart monitor are from one manufacturer and the weight scale and power meter come from two other manufacturers. Together this custom ecosystem gives me valuable data about my training and overall progress.\n\tHere\u2019s a few items I\u2019ve observed that may also apply to other wearable \/ IoT ecosystems:\n\tIt\u2019s trial and error until you find the right ecosystem for your needs \u2013 My ecosystem took a while to build out as I tried different products and finally arrived at the best of breed solution I was looking for. The ecosystem was not \u201cout of the box\u201d and differs significantly from one person to the next.\n\tSome wearables simply don\u2019t work and end up in the drawer \u2013 Some of the first lap counters for swimming didn\u2019t work too well until I found my latest all-in-one GPS watch which counts laps in the pool reliably (even stroke count, stroke type and efficiency) and is my single \u201cwearable\u201d for all three sports.\n\tOne device becomes the main interface and sensors are expected to look after themselves \u2013 My main interface is the GPS watch itself since I rarely spend the time to upload data to the laptop. I therefore get my results directly from the wearable and expect the sensors simply to operate and be reliable with minimal maintenance.\n\tDisplay customization is part of the user experience \u2013 While the end results after the workout provide the data for analysis, the real-time display during the actual training session or the event is another key factor. The ability to personalize this display to show the right set of variables on screen really enhances the overall experience and usefulness of the device.\n\tForm factor is important and highly specific to the activity \u2013 In athletics, device weight and form factor are important purchasing decisions (particularly for use during races) and requirements are highly specific to the activity and field of use.\n\tBattery life must be fit to task \u2013 In terms of battery life, I\u2019m fine with charging regularly, but expect the device to last comfortably for the duration of my training and events.\n\tStandards are crucial for the best of breed ecosystem to be possible \u2013 Fortunately there\u2019s a wireless standard called ANT+ in my ecosystem that allows all these devices to talk to one another.\n\tWearables can be as \u201csticky\u201d as smartphones - When it has to do with your personal data (i.e. your personal data cloud), then the devices and sensors become very personal items and \u201cvery sticky\u201d in terms of your loyalty to the brand.\n\tInformation overload is not an issue, but access to rich data is \u2013 While my GPS watch captures an incredible amount of information about all aspects of my training, I\u2019m able to pick and choose what I wish to utilize. The main consideration is simply having the rich set of data on hand whenever needed.\n\tTechnology refresh is a way of life \u2013 Every couple of years (if not sooner) some breakthrough features come along that provide an incentive to upgrade the ecosystem. For my triathlon training, this was a new device that combined more features into one package so I could use a single device across three sports. Even now, there\u2019s new devices coming out that are getting into predictive analytics in terms of estimating your race time based on likely endurance.\n\tSo what are the lessons learned for the enterprise? I think there are three main areas as follows:\n\t1) The first area is that all the usual rules apply in terms of technology evaluation. Pay attention to form factor, battery life, durability, and standards to ensure your best of breed ecosystem meets your technical requirements. Security and privacy are vital\u00a0considerations\u00a0as well the minute any of your devices or sensors connect\u00a0online. In addition, pilots and proof of concepts are equally important to arrive at the optimum solution (for example, if you\u2019re thinking about applying wearables such as smart glasses to provide detailed guidance for complex manual tasks such as inspection, maintenance and repair).\n\t2) The second area is that there\u2019s a lot of upfront business model considerations in here as well. Think about where you wish to play in the Internet of Things ecosystem. If you want to get close to customers and increase your stickiness with your audience, it\u2019s important to play a part in the display or analysis of the customer\u2019s personal data cloud (or your partners\u2019 data clouds) and be the application \u201carms-dealer\u201d to help them interpret and apply their data to meet their personal needs and interests. If you want to empower the ecosystem with intelligent sensors, or with an underlying platform, it will be important to understand the breadth of application scenarios you can potentially enable and what kinds of data and services, at what levels of granularity, will be most pertinent.\n\t3) Thirdly, the solution all comes together at the user experience level. Presenting the information to the end user in a real-time, highly personalized, highly customizable, even predictive manner, really seals the deal in terms of the newly digitized process. \u00a0It\u2019s this digital customer experience value proposition that fuels the entire ecosystem. So whether, you\u2019re a device manufacturer, a data provider, an analytics provider, a platform provider, or some other form of player in the ecosystem, the digital user experience will be vital to growth, differentiation, solution longevity, and overall customer satisfaction.