The mobile workforce era
So what has led to this rapid transition? Let’s take a look at some of the key drivers:
- Technological progress – It’s the age of sophisticated and intelligent devices that can monitor, analyze and report, along with omnipresent wireless and growing number of price sensitive applications. This has resulted in the world going mobile.
- Competition – With rising competition, mobility gives early adopters an extra edge, when it comes to quick customer service responses or tightening operational processes.
- Customer Centricity – With most corporate strategies focusing on being customer centric, the need for faster responses to customers and other stakeholders cannot be ignored. Mobility only makes this easier, making real time information available 24/7.
- Shorter Product Life Cycles – With many industries experiencing short product lifecycles, implementation of business critical processes has to become quick and optimal across the value chain. Mobility can help organisations get new processes integrated into field and backroom operations faster.
Therefore, one can see an increase in mobile workforce across verticals, as it improves responsiveness, augments practices and enables crisp decision making. Retail, Healthcare, Financial services, Transportation and Logistics, Hospitality and Leisure, Government, Manufacturing, Media and Entertainment are some industries where mobility has had a significant impact.
This said, though mobility has become a stark necessity in today’s workforce, it is not without its fair share of challenges.
Security being a key concern across sectors, organisations will need to implement supplementary security measures to manage data flow between the enterprise and mobile applications, as well as bring in additional integrity checks to ensure a uniform and accurate view of data.
Technology and skills are other factors of concern. With information flowing into both company owned devices like PCs and employee owned devices like tablets and smartphones, IT teams will need to have information on control strategies in place.
Another factor is process difficulties. Business decision makers are typically apprehensive over whether complex processes can be optimized and ported on to a simple and easy-to-use mobile application. The choice of processes for ‘mobilization’ is a key decision point that needs to be considered here.
Infrastructure is another worrying factor, with bandwidth availability remaining erratic even in key metros. This is despite India being one of the biggest smartphone markets and among the most heavily licensed countries in the world. The availability of reliable infrastructure and fail-over options must therefore be considered especially when shifting critical processes to the mobile sphere.
Also, it might be difficult for employees (across sectors) to adapt to mobiles as a day-to-day work tool. The need of the hour is gradual transition and constant support from the leadership team to drive the change towards greater mobility adoption across the organisation. With an increase in mobile solutions however, many industries view it as a beneficial trend that can fuel productivity and growth. For more details on this, read our whitepaper on “Enabling the Mobile Workforce”.