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To ensure a happy, satisfied customer base and an efficient field service team, the option of employing mobile technology is no longer considered “nice-to-have,” it has now become a necessity to stay competitive. Here are 3 key considerations when developing your company’s mobile strategy:
#1 CHOOSING THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY
New smartphones and tablets are hitting the market at an accelerating pace as manufacturers of mobile equipment compete with each other. When evaluating the best option for your company, consider what features are critical for your individual business.
If, for example, you need the ability to capture detailed ‘work performed’ notes, choose a device that lends itself to this type of typing requirement. Thumb-typing is much less efficient than finger-typing! A tablet device with easy typing capabilities will be much better suited for your needs than a smaller device with a smaller keyboard. Conversely, a smartphone may be the better solution by making use of the quick-selection data-entry options on the Mobile Field Technician Console, if you don’t have the need for lengthy freeform notes.
You should also consider the screen size and layout when choosing a mobile device. While smartphone/PDA devices are convenient and easy to carry, they have much smaller screen displays than tablets or laptops. This will limit the detail available on a single screen and increase the number of screens a user will need to navigate. For certain features, such as the eForms Certificate Management Module, using a tablet to accommodate the larger form size is a necessity.
#2 B.Y.O.D (BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE)
People are getting the latest, leading-edge technologies for their personal use, and want to use those devices for work. There are opportunities as well as challenges with this growing trend. When allowing personal devices to connect to company data and network resources, security becomes a big issue. If you decide to go this route, it needs to be done with careful planning. You should establish a formal set of company policies regarding devices you support, how they are to be used, and what the company’s responsibilities are when it comes to costs, support, and troubleshooting. It is critical to your success to establish these policies and communicate them to all employees.
#3 DATA SECURITY
One of the biggest issues that must be dealt with is the security of your company’s confidential information in case the mobile device is lost or stolen. First, make sure you know what (if any) information is being stored on the device.
Many mobile applications (like Miracle Service) connect to the company’s database without storing any data on the device itself. Other mobile applications, however, may store data on the device; you need to be aware of exactly what is being stored.
There are some simple procedures that can be put in place that affect the security of your data. In addition to “securing” the mobile device for authorized users by using a secure password, you should set the device to automatically lock after a certain period of time to minimize possible access. If a device is lost or stolen, you can reset the Miracle Service web password for that login from the office, which will immediately block any unauthorized access to the information.
There are also some considerations on the type of network that would be optimal, with encrypting the data traveling over your network as a good way to improve security. That way, even if your data is accessed, the user won’t be able to read the information, capture your login passwords, or hijack your accounts unless they have the encryption key. Avoiding the use of public Wi-Fi is also a prudent policy when security is a concern.
With all the advantages that mobile computing offers, there is no doubt that more and more businesses will continue to adopt it for their field service operations in order to remain competitive.
Developing a comprehensive mobile strategy, having a clear understanding of all the issues involved, and choosing the right mobile devices for your company will make the transition, and future, of mobile computing in your company successful.
Contact us about our newly repackaged mobile portals and per user fee, to support your B.Y.O.D. strategy.