Mobile Technology Investment: Seizing the Opportunity or Just Surviving?

Man holding mobile device

Overnight, businesses of all sizes offered curbside pick-up via their apps and delivery services started promoting contactless delivery. There has been a noticeable shift in how enterprises use technology since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some organizations embraced the challenges and adopted long-term technology solutions to help their business survive and thrive. Others struggled and opted to invest only for the short-term when it came to mobile technology.  

Almost instantly, mobile technology became vital in enabling businesses to continue to operate, and everyone from C-Suite executives to employees working in stores needed to adapt in some way. Workers not previously reliant on technology became reliant overnight and enterprises needed to provide the tech along with proper support to keep their workers working. The COVID-19 pandemic forced enterprises to adopt or update technology to keep their businesses operating and provide their workers with what they need to do their jobs successfully and safely. 

As evidenced in the latest SOTI report, A Defining Year: The State of Mobility 2021, every industry has been turned upside down due to COVID-19. For some companies, the investments they made in technology over the last year have been to solve the specific challenges of 2020’s lockdown. For others, it’s a new way of working and a change that will continue long after the pandemic. 

Is your organization ready to handle the mobile revolution?

Download our free report, A Defining Year: The State of Mobility 2021

Seizing Opportunity  Investing in Mobile and IoT Device Management 

The pandemic forced organizations of all sizes to adopt mobile technology to keep their doors open. Businesses had to find a way for remote workers to be productive at home, and keep workers who need to be in the office safe. The solution to both these scenarios was an adoption and integration of mobile technology. 

When the pandemic hit, services typically done in person went online. Retailers pivoted to more online shopping and curbside pick-up, real estate agents started giving virtual tours and doctors expanded their use of telemedicine. At first, this change was made to adjust to government mandated lockdowns. But now, the public expect these conveniences to stay available to them long after the pandemic is over. 

According to our latest report, 79% of respondents say their organization’s C-Suite realize the importance of mobile technology much more now than before the start of COVID-19. Prior to the pandemic, making a decision about adding new technology could take a year or more. Several departments, managers and factors, such as cost, would be taken into account and weighed against the return on investment (ROI) before implementing new mobile technology into an organization. The pandemic made enterprises act fast and in actuality, it took an average of 11 days to implement a workable solution for most enterprises. 

The kind of technology helping an organization adapt to these new challenges depends on the business. Perhaps more laptops to facilitate work from home, or tablets to engage with customers and patients 

When the world was forced to go virtual, it forced industries from around the globe to advance their use of technology by several years. As an example, digital adoption in healthcare was advanced by about 10 years 

In healthcaretelemedicine is beneficial for both physicians and patients, and has been available at some level for several years. Now, with commonly available technology, such as cameras on smart phones, patients can communicate more effectively with healthcare providers. Digital apps and the Internet of Things allow for remote monitoring of many more patients than a single provider can see. It also provides an added layer of comfort for patients as they don’t have to visit a physician’s office in person. 

Technology is an integral part of the way we live our lives and how businesses operate, and can bring us together even when we’re forced apart.  

Just Surviving – What Happens To Those Who Don’t Adapt? 

Any chance at a real opportunity goes to the early movers – the ones who see mobile technology as an enabler, rather than a hindrance.  

Businesses needing to adapt and change to the market in which they operate is not a new concept. It wasn’t that long ago when making purchases online was a novelty. In the 90’s, ordering groceries from a television set, placing a pizza order from your computer and buying a book online were new and exciting. Doing all these things now is table stakes.  

Surprisingly, just 31% of respondents in our latest report didn’t think the investment in mobile technology in the last year had provided a positive ROI for their organization. The challenge for these companies is to integrate mobile technology more fully into their workflows. This will allow them to capitalize on the potential of their technology to provide flexibility and intelligence across the whole enterprise.  

What’s Next? 

It’s not redundant to say that organizations need to integrate technology into their daily operations, whether it’s an investment in new technology or integration of existing technology. Businesses need to manage their mobile fleet and have the right devices and strategy in place to move successfully forward. Businesses big and small cannot look at this pandemic as a temporary inconvenience and go back to business as usual. The world has changed. Enterprises need to change and adapt for their workers and their bottom line. 

It is important that solutions are carefully selected to fit organizational needs. Even more important; businesses need to ensure their technology is properly integrated and in sync with existing systems, otherwise they run the risk of these investments failing to deliver the value and positive impact they have on operational success. 

It’s clear that many businesses know there is still a great deal of potential locked up in their mobile technology. They just require access to the expertise and technology needed to unlock that potential.