Field-based work is easier now because of the many technological devices available to help workers complete tasks outside the office, from documenting archeological finds to submitting billing information about services provided in client homes. When businesses are able to successfully integrate field operations with back-end solutions like the IT service desk, the organization has the data necessary to maximize productivity in the field.
But sometimes it can take a business an excessive amount of time to get employees equipped to go out and do their work. A UK survey, for example, found that only 12% of IT departments believed they currently had the mobile management capabilities and processes necessary to support mobile needs. Over one-quarter of respondents said they could not control access to company information from employee mobile devices.
Delays in getting field employees up to speed, and lack of speedy processes to get their gear running properly again when there’s a problem can cause an organization to lose its competitive edge. That’s why any organization with a mobile workforce needs a strategy for getting mobile workers kitted out and making sure their equipment can be fixed quickly when it malfunctions.
App Selection for Field Workers Is Important
A mobile application strategy has to not only address the apps that field workers need to do their jobs, but also apps necessary for collaboration, sharing, and storing job data. Mobile workers should also have virtual links to the IT service desk. An organization’s IT asset management program must be able to account for all field devices and track when patches and upgrades need to be applied to the applications field workers use.
Mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), or some combination thereof can help ensure uniformity of processes among field workers, and can be essential for maintaining security with mobile devices. When an organization’s mobile strategy includes provisions for sharing important customer data securely, it can take advantage of apps that, for example, automatically bring up customer history data on a field call regardless of who takes the call, so customers can be provided with great consistency of service.
How the Internet of Things (IoT) May Help the IT Service Desk
The emergence of the internet of things (IoT) is poised for enormous potential in field services. Once devices are configured with the sensors, hardware, and software necessary to network together and communicate with each other, issues can be diagnosed even before they become full-blown problems. This could be a real advantage to preventive maintenance programs.
Other useful information the IoT could provide includes data like temperature and other ambient condition data. Such information can help with safety practices, and can help in the choice of new or replacement equipment to better suit the environment in which it will be used.
IT Asset Management and The Right Devices for the Mobile Workforce
The right devices for the mobile workforce depend heavily on the type of business, but regardless, the organization’s IT asset management program must be prepared to account for these devices. And it’s far better if the IT asset management program integrates with the IT service desk, so IT service desk workers don’t have to scramble for device or app information when a service ticket comes in from a field device.
Whether field workers’ devices are company-owned or BYOD, the IT service desk must be prepared to support them, and the IT asset management system must be ready to track both the devices and the apps and data stored on them, to effectively manage security as well as potential issues like app license expiration.
The IT service desk is a crucial factor in ensuring that an organization’s mobile workforce is effective and competitive. Furthermore, in order for the mobile workforce to complete its tasks effectively, an organization’s IT asset management system has to be prepared to account for all field devices and the apps used on them. When the IT service desk and IT asset management program are integrated, these processes are more efficient and streamlined.