Field service organizations (FSOs) were among the earliest adopters of mobile computers and continue to find new ways to take advantage of this technology as mobility systems evolve and improve. As the pace of change accelerates, however, FSOs have had to reevaluate their mobile deployment and upgrade strategies. Whereas in the past, rugged mobile devices were almost uniformly based on the Windows environment and remained in service five years or more. The accelerated introduction of new software and hardware features has made it necessary to leverage different operating systems, more flexible hardware platforms, and cloud-based software models.
Panasonic and Field Technologies Online first conducted a survey of field service executives in 2016 to find out what mobile technology they were currently using, how soon they planned to refresh those solutions, and what types of hardware and software they hoped to deploy in the future. That data was originally published in the report: What Does the Next-Generation of Field Mobility Solutions Look Like?
Two years later, Panasonic and Field Technologies Online have updated that research with new insights into field service executive preferences when it comes to mobile devices and other enabling technologies.
The results reflect a highly dynamic field service market and provide insight into technology trends that other FSOs can use to guide their own mobility projects. This year we surveyed 89 field service executives across several different markets. As was the case in the previous research, industrial/commercial field services companies were the largest group of respondents (just over one-quarter of the total). The majority of the other respondents were split among residential/consumer field services, construction, utilities, and manufacturing, with a slightly smaller group in the transportation/distribution segment.