A study conducted on behalf of SOTI by VDC Research looks at the state of business-critical mobility across enterprises.
Today, more than 50% of the workforce (representing 1.7 billion workers) is mobile, relying on technology and mobile solutions to perform their everyday job functions. Many workers – such as nurses, first responders, field service technicians, or delivery drivers – depend on reliable mobile access in real-time to critical information at the point of interaction. Mobility is business-critical and this reality has put more pressure on companies to find solutions that safeguard customer or asset data for remote workers while supporting productivity, reducing workforce downtime/failures and providing clear ROI (return on investment).
According to a new study commissioned by SOTI, a trusted provider of mobile and IoT management solutions, and conducted by VDC Research, access to increasingly powerful mobile and other Internet-connected devices, intuitive and immersive applications and robust networks has significantly changed the way we work. In fact, even one dropped connection or poorly performing application per shift can translate into almost US$20,000 in annual support and productivity loss costs per mobile worker. The consequence of each failure incident can result in up to 100 minutes in lost productivity or 23% of a daily shift.
The study found that even though workers are relying on mobile solutions more than ever, surprisingly, many are not leveraging Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions to their full potential. In fact, only one in five claims to have complete visibility into mobile device (comprising of phones, tablets, POS systems, scanners and other ruggedised Internet-connected hardware) and application usage. This represents a massive underserved opportunity for organisations to further streamline business-critical mobility support as well as improve the end-user experience and ultimately a company’s bottom line.
While improving workforce productivity remains the leading business-critical mobility investment driver, organisations are similarly leveraging these investments to drive revenues, improve real-time decision making and introduce competitive differentiation.
Worker productivity improvements ranked high as a driver for investment in mobile technology in all sectors – which include healthcare, manufacturing and transportation & logistics. However, there were differences in the primary driver for investment between the sectors. For example, the retail sector with its inherently mobile workforce, estimated at 220 million workers, listed increased sales and revenue as its top priority.
According to Shash Anand, Vice-President of Product Strategy at SOTI: “If organisations are not leveraging an integrated mobile approach to improve the visibility, management and support of their business-critical mobility solutions, they are limiting their ability to quickly diagnose and fix issues which directly leads to losses in revenue.”
Leading business-critical mobility investment challenges
“Frankly, we were shocked to learn that 30% of respondents reported that they couldn’t determine ROI from mobility. This suggests that IT teams and their internal business partners need to do a better job of showcasing the role that mobility plays in driving revenue and increasing productivity. Once ROI has been determined, there should be no barriers to making mobility investments,” continued Anand.
Leading causes of mobile solution failure
The most successful enterprises consider several key factors when implementing business-critical mobility strategies. These include identifying challenges that affect the success of mobile solutions in the field – from application performance to network latency and data throughput, among others.
The key to minimising the impact of failure of business-critical mobile solutions is the visibility and ability to remotely manage mobile solutions, as well as:
- Securing devices (protecting data through encryption and passcode policies, locking down certain device features, auditing devices, etc.)
- Managing mobile devices (asset and inventory management, updating and provisioning new policies, pushing out new configuration policies, etc.)
- Deploying mobile devices (activating devices, enrolling them in policies, authenticating users, configuring policies, provisioning apps, etc.)
The rise in mobility coincides with the ability to use applications to streamline workflow processes. The report found that leveraging tools that can rapidly develop and deploy minimum viable products, like mobile applications, offers organisations an opportunity to streamline this process and stay ahead of application demands.
“EMM is key for enterprises with business-critical mobility, but sometimes EMM alone is not enough,” added Anand. “Many organisations today are facing a battle to keep up with the demand for mobile applications in a timely and budget-friendly manner. Mobile applications can take an average of five months to develop, and cost an average of US$55,000 per application. We created the SOTI ONE platform to address the various mobility challenges enterprises face, including cost, complexity and device downtime.”