Field service organizations, whose businesses have long been too dispersed and on the move for technology to keep pace, should buy holiday gift baskets for Google, Apple and Microsoft this year. The unprecedented mobile battle between the world’s three largest technology companies has created the conditions that, for the first time, are making mobile field service software
an accessible, dividend-paying investment for field service firms of all sizes. Let us count the ways:
- Consumerization of IT and BYOD are pushing more devices (and apps!) into the service organization.
- It used to be, you showed up to work, IT gave you a computer and said get to work, nowadays, people are bringing in the latest device and asking IT to make it work, regardless of platform.
- Enhanced awareness at all levels of the organization (we’re all consumers) is causing departments to think about how technology can improve their business.
- We’re now seeing service managers take the lead in procuring solutions for their department in more of a bottoms-up approach where previously it was top-down driven by operations or IT
- Competition in the mobile space is primarily about usability and user interface, as hardware specs are essentially the same.
- Recent advertisements poke fun at the iPhone by showing older generations in line for the newest device; devices are getting easier and thus growing the market from a demographics standpoint, so mobile technology is now going to more people who didn’t have it before.
- For business in general, and field service businesses in particular, this means less training costs and less risk of going to new mobile technology.
- This also means low barrier to entry because many employees have their own mobile devices and can pilot apps on the app store.
- The last piece of competition driving innovation is in the services and integration space.
- With more software being seen as a service, integration is also becoming critical because apps can no longer be as successful unless they integrate to consumer-friendly devices and platforms.
- For businesses, this means integration into LOB apps like ERP or accounting, and because of GPS, it is becoming the expectation rather than the exception to know where field service employees are throughout the work day.
- Service managers can now expect good service management software solutions to integrate into ERP systems, making them easier to implement and use.
In conclusion, field service firms are emerging as the big winners in the biggest technology battle of all time.