Blog | March 15, 2017

Dealing With Major Mobility Headaches

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
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Utility Industry Mobile Computing

Mobile technology deployments are expanding, and so are associated IT headaches. That’s what WBR Digital found in a recent survey of 110 senior-level executives of global enterprises.

The survey, sponsored by NetMotion Software, focused on mobile technology use by field fleets. More than half of respondents said they plan to grow their mobile workforce in 2017; 15 percent of those expected more than 20 percent growth.

Along with that growth in mobility has come an increase in support headaches. More than 60 percent of respondents saw report support tickets increase with the adoption of new mobile technology. Roughly 40 percent of companies reported up to 300 connectivity related trouble tickets per month, and nearly half said they could not easily diagnose those problems.

Despite those issues, satisfaction with mobile solutions average 71 percent.

“There is an urgent need across businesses to make sweeping improvements in mobile performance management,” said Christopher Kenessey, CEO and president of NetMotion Software. “Existing problems will only increase as businesses expand their mobile deployments. This affects everything from customer service to employee turnover and directly impacts the bottom line.”

Field workers are using a variety of network options. Eight-eight percent connect via Wi-Fi while 73 percent also rely on broadband carrier networks. Just 38 percent use a private network, and 10 percent connect via a satellite network.

Roughly one-third of respondents reported dropped network connections and application challenges. Twenty-eight percent reported 25 to 75 connectivity trouble tickets in a week, while another 12 percent reported 75 or more. “The problem is quickly scaling beyond control for many businesses,” Kenessey said. “In order for IT support organizations to cope, they must have tools to perform mobile root cause analysis on trouble tickets they receive from remote users. Lacking this, their support teams will be left with hours of troubleshooting work, which will negatively affect productivity and the customer experience.”

A full 65 percent of respondents said their biggest challenge was poor service quality. Among the key problems: frequent re-authentication due to coverage gaps; lack of real-time device and connectivity troubleshooting; poor network quality that affects voice/video conferencing; data overages incurred by employees.

A quarter of respondents also said that management had problems with users installing unregulated applications on their devices or incurring charges for network usage they couldn’t control.

According to the survey, security technologies ranked as the second most important technology concern in a mobile deployment. Providing flexible security for both devices and networks can protect data from malware or theft.

Mobile technology also continues to be of critical importance to the enterprise. According to the survey, 80 percent of organizations identified their mobility strategy as a key enabler for meeting business priorities in 2016.

According to the survey, companies should take steps to fill network gaps in order to preserve user and application access across networks. Senior-level executive respondents ranked performance management technology as the most valuable component of their enterprise mobility strategy.

“Employees want the confidence that they can launch a Skype voice or video session, or enter data into an ordering system wherever and whenever their work requires it,” said John Knopf, vice president of product management for NetMotion. “Basically, they expect the same level of reliability and connectivity in the field that they get in an office environment.”

You can download the report here.