There are several factors that are influencing the shift to a mobile workforce, including the simple fact that the technology is becoming more accessible and available. With each new mobile device release, many features start to become standard, and so it becomes easier for workers to utilize those features.
The growth of cloud computing has also had a significant impact on the increasingly mobile workforce. When workers are able to access all of their data and documents on any device, they have new flexibility to work wherever they need. Young employees entering the workforce are particularly interested in this sort of autonomy, with an Intelligence Group study showing that 74% of millennials desire flexible work schedules and 88% want ‘work-life integration', where work and life blend together, with less focus on tracking hours and more on tracking results.
Implementing the right mobile workforce solutions provides a wide array of benefits to businesses, such as mobile access to data and the simplicity that comes with cloud computing. We’d like to elaborate upon two of the direct benefits that mobile workforce solutions provide:
- Improved Mobile Data Functionality
With a mobile platform, every employee involved in a job has ready access to all of the data and functionality they need, right at their fingertips. Office workers can update job information from their workstations at the office, providing traveling workers with current information in real time. Meanwhile, mobile workforce scheduling managers are able to keep track of their mobile workers, and know precisely what they are working on at any given time. This allows their dispatch departments to schedule more efficiently, and adapt to changes as they arise. Not only does this simplify the process for the employee, but it gives the customer a smoother experience with less friction along the way.
- Increase Security and Collaboration with Cloud Computing
With cloud-based mobile workforce software solutions, companies are able to bypass expenses associated with installing new hardware. Instead, all of the storage and processing is handled by the software provider. In addition, cloud services generally come with a high level of security, meaning their data is kept secure and constantly backed up. Storage on the cloud, also syncs data across all devices and allows access anywhere it is needed. This increases mobile workforce security, while also promoting increased collaboration between individuals and teams.
There are many different options when it comes to deciding between mobile workforce management solutions for your company, and to make sure you choose the right one, there are several factors to keep in mind:
- Is implementation easy?
Some solutions are easier to put in place than others. Before deciding on a mobile workforce solution, you should take a look at your current infrastructure. How well will the solution fit into your setup? Will it disrupt your current workflow? The key is to know what sort of investment will be required at the beginning, so that you can make an informed decision.
- How easy is it to use?
Particularly when it will be used by several different employees in different departments, it’s important to have a solution that is intuitive, in order to prevent confusion later down the line. How customizable is it, allowing it to focus on exactly what the user needs? There’s no point in having a solution that makes your employees’ lives more difficult, and when your chosen solution is one that users refuse to adopt, it’s little more than a waste of money.
- Can it handle third-party support?
In addition to the main solution you choose for your company, there are also many third-party mobile workforce applications that can integrate with your mobile management system. Find out which mobile workforce application is most compatible with each solution. Learn how easy or difficult it is to integrate these outside applications into your system.
- What is the overall cost?
When it comes down to it, implementing any new system is largely driven by your bottom line. If the solution costs more money than it will save, it’s not worth it. On the other hand, if a solution is inexpensive compared to the value it will bring, then it’s clearly worth the money and effort required.
- Is it scalable?
The best mobile workforce management software is scalable. Whether working with a small group of mobile employees or an entire fleet, you should be able to customize it to fit your workforce. As the operation grows, it should be relatively painless to add in new users and workstations.
When one considers mobile workforce trends, there’s no denying that increased mobility is the direction businesses are headed. Already, Citrix reports that almost two-thirds of workers (61%) are working outside the office at least some of the time, and that number is only rising. Meanwhile, 81% of CEOs consider mobile technology to be a strategically important part of their companies. As mobile smart technology becomes increasingly available, those businesses that continue to oppose this shift towards mobility may find themselves at a serious disadvantage.
Investing in a tool that can fill the responsibilities of a proper mobile workforce manager is a crucial first step towards preparing your business for the new mobile-centered business ecosystem. Soon enough, mobile smart devices will be as ubiquitous to office culture as the personal computer. When that happens, businesses will finally be able to offer their employees something that they’ve always wanted: freedom. Mobile workforce management makes it possible.