Mobile computing analytics – the missing piece of the puzzle?
Lack of insight costing businesses customers and money
We all benefit from the rise of mobile computing in business; increased productivity, improved communications and the ease with which we can complete tasks. But users say reliability of their devices is starting to impact on their ability to carry out work and its costing the employer.
The regular failure of mobile computing devices is losing businesses customers and money on a scale management is unaware of, according to a study by B2M Solutions.
More than half of mobile workers reported their company had lost revenue and customers as a result of issues with their mobile computing devices. The same number reported suffering at least one mobile device issue a month. But these problems were not filtering back to the IT team, with the vast majority claiming only 5-20% of users were reporting problems monthly.
Reflecting on these statistics, it appears there is a gap in awareness between the workers on the frontline and IT support staff around the impact of mobile issues. And it’s getting worse. Over a third of end-users with problems said issues had increased over the past 12-18 months.
There are no indications given to the specific reasons for these failures. However, there are a number of factors in play here. With a wide variety of mobile computing devices now in use in business - from notebooks, to tablets, to handhelds – it’s critical that appropriate hardware devices are chosen for the task. For example, consumer tablets don’t transfer well to the workplace when specialist rugged devices are required. Ensuring the business is buying suitable, proven and reliable computing devices will reduce many of these issues.
However, the increasing variety and complexity of applications is also likely to be impacting on the performance and reliability of devices. Whatever the cause, users were certain that it was impacting on their productivity more than IT managers appreciated.
Loss of Productivity
Almost all end users that had experienced problems said it had negatively impacted their productivity. With 63% saying it took between 30 minutes and 3 hours on average for issues to be resolved. But only a third of the IT team respondents believed their company was negatively impacted by lost workforce productivity as a result of mobile issues.
In addition, when failing devices were returned to the IT department there was often needless expense or effort wasted because of a lack of information on the problem. IT workers admitted that many simply replaced batteries or sent devices back to the manufacturer for a replacement when issues were reported – increasing operating costs.
Obviously, no IT team wants to cost its business money by underestimating lost productivity or replacing batteries and complete devices when there is no need. The issue here is that IT managers are clearly missing vital real-time information on the operational status of their devices when in the hands of the mobile workforce. This lack of information means that predictive maintenance is impossible and accurate diagnosis of issues is challenging.
IT departments need the mobile computing equivalent of a warning light in their car enabling them to take corrective action before they break down in the rain.It’s also clear from the research that IT workers want this level of predictive insight and clarity. When IT workers were asked to rate a tool that would provide real-time visibility and alerts to mobile computing issues affecting end users, 91% rated it as Valuable or Extremely Valuable.
These tools exist but awareness and widespread adoption is still low. As we continue to benefit from mobile computing innovation, it’s critical that businesses quickly establish the same level of insight that they have with their bricks and mortar IT infrastructure. IT staff need the tools to proactively see problems and fix them, and even predict problems before they occur.
The TOUGHBOOK Smart Essentials suite, powered by B2M, provides the unique ability to gather and analyse data from deployed mobile devis and gain actionable insights to eliminate issues. It provides information to make more informed decisions, take faster action and measure results in new ways. Why not try our quick True Cost of Ownership calculator to estimate how much outages with devices and applications may be costing your company, as well as get a quick assessment of how your company is performing against industry averages.