Despite field service automation solutions having been available for nearly ten years, research announced by Momote, a provider of tailored wireless service management solutions, reveals that the majority of large service organisations have been unable to fully realise the promised benefits of such solutions.
In fact, only one in five of the 100 large field service organisations questioned in the survey, have fully optimised field service mobility solutions in operation that help them effectively utilise resources and respond to changing field service requirements.
The study, conducted by Freeform Dynamics in May this year on behalf of Momote, also uncovered the surprising finding that only 45% of these large companies gave their field workers any degree of remote access into their service management system at all. Yet at the other end of the spectrum the survey highlighted that second generation mobility requirements are already emerging, with a quarter of large enterprises with significant field service operations have mobility systems in place that would be regarded as legacy in that they are either replacing or need to replace their current solution.
Freeform/Momote’s survey also highlighted the following results:
• Only 1 in 10 organisations felt confident that they were fully utilising field service resources effectively
• Over a third of respondents felt they had significant shortfalls in the area of flexibility
• 50% said they were unable to effectively allocate field resources
• Only 1 in 5 companies questioned are currently taking advantage of real-time access despite the accepted benefits
While the current adoption and usage of effective mobile field service is clearly limited, the field service market is almost united in its belief that real-time, or wireless, mobility holds the key to operational visibility and cost savings, which signals huge growth potential in this market. In fact, 72% of companies cited that it was important or desirable for mobile workers to have real-time access to service management systems, and the value placed on real-time wireless access is heightened amongst organisations with greater complexity of jobs or a requirement to schedule on demand.
According to the Freeform/Momote study, the primary business drivers for real-time wireless capability are operational visibility and operational cost savings. From an operational execution perspective, the key driver is to remove the latency of business communication to and from the field.
“Despite a lot of activity in the field of automation over the years, many service organisations still haven’t cracked problems such as resource optimisation, service flexibility and visibility of operations,” explained Graham Whistance, MD of Momote. “In addition to the industry’s failure to fully realise the potential benefits of first generation mobility solutions, the evidence suggests that the nature of IT solutions is changing, with many early adopters growing out of the fixed functionality solutions they originally put in place in favour of a platform approach providing more flexibility and real-time wireless capability.”
“This is still a market with huge potential, and as the service management community looks forward, we see a place for all types of solution, including off the shelf packages, development and deployment platforms and hosted offerings, with selection dependent on the nature of the operation,” commented Dale Vile, Research Director at Freeform Dynamics. “But whichever route is taken, the ability to deal with the dynamic mobile device landscape, evolving business and operational requirements, as well as the fundamentals of security and manageability, are viewed as critical across the board.”