New ClickSoftware research highlights challenges of achieving mobile workforce success, with only 66% of CIOs feeling it is easy to ensure quality and service standards are maintained in the field
Burlington, MA – 27 November, 2012 – New research commissioned by ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd. (NasdaqGS: CKSW), the leading provider of automated mobile workforce management and optimization solutions for the service industry, reveals that whilst 74% of CIOs believe mobile customer service is important, nearly half of that group (46%) believe their current mobile and/or field service solutions and strategy are ineffective at delivering on the ‘mobile dream’. Respondents to the research, conducted by IDG Connect, were CIOs in the UK, France and Germany.
Mobile computing is a rapidly moving market and IDC predicts that the number of mobile workers across the globe is set to reach 1.3bn by 2015 - just under 40% of the workforce. Much of the growth in this space has been driven by BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) as users frustrated with the pace of their own IT departments, have configured personal devices to make them more productive in the workplace. 75% of CIOs stated that their workforce brings one or more devices to work, with the remainder saying they 'mainly' bring one. This combination of factors is making it challenging for CIOs to define effective strategies for mobile computing, even in sectors with highly distributed workforces where the business relies on high-quality mobile customer service.
Yet despite understanding the benefits of mobile, speed of ‘formal use’ is slow with 53% of participants able to be classified as late-adopters (Less than half of the workforce in this group is using a smartphone or rugged device as part of their corporate IT provision). Perhaps unsurprisingly given that figure, only 66% of CIOs (on average) feel it is easy to ensure quality and service standards are maintained in the field. This figure varied wildly between vertical markets, with Retail the best performer - 80% finding it easy and none finding it difficult or very difficult to maintain quality and standards. The Public Sector was the poorest performer, with only 30% of CIOs saying it was easy, and 40% responding with difficult or very difficult.
Ease with which high-performance field operations are maintained by sector:
|Sector||Easy||Difficult / very difficult|
|IT / Computing||88%||8%|
|Pharma / Healthcare||64%||27%|
Dr. Moshe BenBassat, Chairman and CEO of ClickSoftware said “CIOs understand the challenge and need to incorporate an enterprise mobility platform into their business strategy, but don’t know where to start. The technology and users are moving so quickly, but control needs to be regained by the CIO. For maximum impact and return, a new approach must provide end-to-end support for the back office through to the mobile worker, no matter which devices are used. For mobile workers in the service sector, ClickSoftware offers such an approach together with a very rich collection of ready to use apps in its ClickAppStore.”
For those companies implementing a long-term mobile strategy, here are five best practice tips for boosting the effectiveness of existing solutions:
- When selecting a solution, include key stakeholders in the decision-making process. This means gathering input from both the field team and its managers, including both senior and junior staff along the way.
- The starting point for any improvement in the technology supporting field operations has to be business strategy and key objectives. Solutions must be evaluated against the needs of the organization.
- Mobile devices need to be selected carefully. Choices must address the type of working environment, the requirements of the user and the nature of the mobile software (is it device-agnostic, or tied to a specific operating platform?)
- Whether you’re searching for a solution, planning the project or managing the implementation, don’t compromise on usability.
- When testing a mobile application, don’t just test features and modules. Instead, look at complete workflows, the kind of scenarios that will typically play out on real devices in a working environment.
 IDC, Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2011-2015 Forecast (January 2012). IDC’s forecast includes three categories or mobile employee: office-based mobile workers, non-office-based mobile workers and home-based mobile workers.