A year ago, all of your employees were either working in the office or in the field. Then very suddenly, as a result of the pandemic, everyone started working remotely. It was a big shift, which will reverberate well into the future and businesses are quickly trying to adapt to this new normal.
No matter where your employees may be, mobile technology gives them the tools they need to perform key functions and keeps them connected and productive during uncertain and unpredictable times. They need the right technology to perform at their best, anytime and anywhere, which means you need the right mobile strategy and tools to enable them.
Some industries are further ahead than others. The transportation and logistics (T&L) sector, for example, has been leveraging mobile technology to streamline and enhance the visibility of their operations to effectively manage their moving assets and personnel. This has enabled them to better manage the disruption to their supply chain during the global pandemic.
In other industries, such as retail, energy or healthcare, business leaders are actively looking to mobile and IoT solutions to provide real-time insights so they can quickly pivot their operations should a disruption occur. A recent report, Racing Toward The Future of Enterprise Mobility, found that respondents in the energy, oil and utilities sector (80%), as well as those working in financial services (70%), admitted their top business priority is to provide real-time services to field workers. Another report, Critical Technology for Critical Care: State of Mobility in Healthcare 2020/21, found that 65% of healthcare workers believe greater digital transformation is vital to prepare for future health crises.
Choosing the right strategy is placing a bet on the future
Simply investing in mobile technology to modernize your business-critical mobile operations is not enough. To get it right, a long-term and sustainable business strategy is required.
Mobile technology is constantly changing, which can make picking the right solutions for your company challenging. You must consider market trends, industry standards, hardware, operating systems, applications and changing customer needs – and then how it all comes together to positively impact your organization.
Companies that constantly re-evaluate their mobile strategy maintain an advantage. Even those that may not, will at some point, be required to update their current technology to work with new applications to deliver better data and ensure up-to-date device security. Emergencies aside, other events such as updates to operating systems or end-of-support dates for legacy systems will force companies to start thinking about the future of mobility for their business.
Here are five tips you can consider when building out your mobile strategy.
Think total cost of ownership (TCO), not acquisition cost. You are not just buying a mobile device, but an entire ecosystem that includes the device, accessories, apps, support and service.
Consider support and service as an example. Our experience shows that a device issue typically leads to two hours of lost productivity. A remote workforce makes it considerably harder to visit your in-house IT specialist to fix that problem, which will increase the need for an efficient and responsive help desk team. A remote diagnostic help desk solution, like SOTI Assist, will be critical to ensure ongoing productivity and alleviate that helpless feeling employees may have when they are sidelined.
Make sure you will be able to fully control devices and operating systems to support your employees as best as possible. New standards, more capable hardware and updated network technologies rollout regularly. These are important to maintain the performance and security of an OS, but it can be disruptive as major changes may force your company to rework and rewrite your apps.
It is important to think ahead and pick a device and operating system that will meet current and anticipated business needs. For example, will you deploy new types of IoT endpoints, sensors and devices to improve your workflows and increase visibility? If so, which OS will be the most aligned with these future plans and use cases? As an example, the SOTI ONE Platform helps organizations transform their outdated processes, and manage the full lifecycle of their mobile and IoT devices, independently from OS and form factor.
Align your app strategy. Think about enabling your line of business (LOB) departments when it comes to app development. Giving the business access to a framework you have signed off will accelerate processes and help to optimize your budgets.
Ask yourself, will you be able to securely operate the device and operating system? It goes without saying that the impact of a security breach can cause significant damage to an organization. This includes reputational and financial risks, and in the case of the healthcare industry, can also put patients’ lives in danger.
Cyberattacks continue to be a big threat across all industries. SOTI’s report revealed that 31% of organizations have experienced a data breach within the past two years. The report finds that the biggest cybersecurity concerns for organizations today include data leakages (70%), data breaches (64%), phishing attacks (55%), mobile malware (54%) and malicious apps (47%).
Not all devices and OS’s support business-critical mobility management features (e.g. remote control, control over OS update and persistent data connections). An IoT management solution like SOTI Connect can harden the security of IoT devices with remote firmware updates to keep them current with product feature enhancements and bug fixes, secure access to corporate resources and configure security settings, such as firewalls to prevent external threats from gaining unauthorized access to devices.
Organizations across industries are thinking about how they will move forward following the pandemic. For many, the path ahead lies in accelerating their adoption of mobile and digital solutions. And while it may be impossible to accurately predict the future, there are ways to build a smarter mobile strategy to empower your workforce and meet any further challenges head on.