2016 forecast: Mobile trends that will impact field workers

mobile trends

Curious how mobile technology will affect field workers in 2016? Here are some of the latest projections.

Increased demand for tech-savvy field workers

Viewpoint and MSI Data predict that field workers will need to become more tech-savvy as increasingly complex tools are employed.

This lines up with observations recently made by Tom Bowe, Director for Enterprise Service Management at IFS. The emergence of IoT has made it possible for field service companies to shift from offering reactive to proactive services by integrating all of their field equipment to identify/predict field service requests. Field service workers will need to become more tech-savvy so they have the skills needed to respond effectively to urgent service requests they receive. It will also be important for field teams to use mobile apps that connect inspection and rich ticket data to backend systems for further analysis.

Gartner: Field worker mobility will increase

Though mobile technology has been popular among field workers for some time, Gartner forecasts that in 2016

  • The workforce will be 40% mobile;
  • 66% of mobile workers will have a smartphone; and
  • Field service companies will buy 53 million tablets.

On a side note, they also predict that by 2018

  • Machines will have authored 20% of business content;
  • Six billion connected devices will need support;
  • Self-governing machines will be involved in five per cent of fiscal activities; and
  • 3 million people will “work for a robo-boss” (i.e. a smart machine manager).

Mobile apps will boost service quality

UK-based mpl systems claims that next year field workers will increasingly use mobile apps to provide faster quotes, work orders and invoices to their clients. They also suspect that information integration will become essential for service companies looking to offer better response times and fix rates. To prevent integration issues, companies will shift from connecting only portions of their service delivery systems to meshing all aspects of their service operations together.

Investments in business software will shift to mobile

Emergence Capital’s Kevin Spain says: “There are roughly three billion people globally who work, and about 80 per cent of them are desk-less workers. That’s really interesting when you recognize that there are hundreds of billions of dollars spent annually on business software, and nearly all of that caters to the 20 per cent of the global workforce that sits at their desks.”

Mobilizing field data collection will continue

Thousands of companies have shifted from using paper to mobile forms so they can quickly collect vital work data in the field and uncover business insights.

This trend is likely to continue through 2016 as more and more companies realize the benefits of mobile field data collection: improved field productivity, service quality, and environmental, health and safety compliance.

Learn how mobilizing with ProntoForms can bolster your business operations in 2016.

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