Why there's never been a better time to mobilize your workforce

For the first time in history businesses are able to support mobile workers effectively and bridge the office-field divide.


With mobile workers across the globe numbering 1.2 billion, it may come as a shock that according to TOA Technologies, many companies engaged in field services activities still struggle with three basic questions about their mobile workers.

  1. Where are they
  2. What are they doing
  3. How long will it take

The use of smartphones both in the consumer and business market continues to grow, with smartphones accounting for approximately 40% of all mobile devices. In 2012, over 700 million smartphones were purchased many of which have access to fast internet via 3G or LTE services. At the same time, data prices have been steadily falling, with rates of just 3c/MB compared to 46c/MB in 2008.

Along with improved, affordable data, the price of internet enabled smartphones has also steadily declined and the range of options has exploded. There are currently thousands of different mobile devices on the market running a number of operating systems. While Apple’s iOS gains much hype from the media, the Android operating system sits on top of the pile powering around 70% of all smartphones.

The rise of new web standards, namely HTML5, means that irrespective of the device you choose, access to many of the best resources is still within your reach. Mobile workers can choose from a range of devices, including smartphones, phablets, tablets and touch-enabled laptops, running any number of operating systems, and expect the same level of service.

As people have embraced mobile devices and the improved communication that comes from their continuously-connected life, they expect the same in their workplace. Collaboration has moved beyond just file sharing to replicate many aspects familiar to social networks. Information and ideas flow at the speed of the internet, irrespective of the employee’s geographical location.

Mobile workers stand to gain greatly from this trend, becoming truly connected with their peers for the first time. No longer do mobile workers need to feel like second-class employees, isolated and alone, left to fend for themselves without access to even the most rudimentary services. Enterprise social networks, collaboration platforms and context-aware field management systems means that timely, relevant information is only a few clicks (or taps) away.

There has never been a better time to embark upon the journey of mobilising your workforce.


Sources

Global mobile statistics 2013, http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats/

Four Freedoms for Mobile Workforce Management, TOA Technologies, http://www.fsmaustralia.com.au/media/7931/8411.pdf

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