What Increased Mobility and Cloud Adoption Means for Field Service
Increased mobility for field service has been based on an ever-expanding cloud presence. According to recent GigaOm research, mobile is one of the top five areas for cloud expansion. In addition, seventy-five percent of businesses overall are employing cloud platforms for accessing applications. The general trend toward growing cloud deployments is based on the general perception that cloud-based computing and apps are relatively secure and increasingly commonplace.
In terms of field service, it would be safe to say that many organizations already rely on cloud resources in some capacity. These companies are executing cloud strategies that include increased reliance on public cloud resources for both critical and non-critical functions, whether it’s sharing information via file syncing, storing data or employing Social Media. Currently, the trend is moving toward increased mobile app usage as well.
According to GigaOm, a high number of public cloud instances support the daily operations of many diverse businesses. Research also indicates that a substantial number of organizations are well on their way to their second and third major cloud deployment since initial adoption. With reliance on the cloud becoming more commonplace, field service organizations are capitalizing on this trend.
Four key areas exist to make cloud deployment compelling. They include:
- Rapid Deployment- In contrast to premise-based solutions, companies can leverage the cloud to realize faster return on field service automation benefits. Since all the IT infrastructure resides off premise in the cloud, the only requirement is smooth integration with pre-existing software, for example dispatch and scheduling applications.
- Reduced Capital Expenditure-Without the overhead associated with premise-based applications, field service organizations can eliminate expenditures for servers, storage, networking and software licenses. Since a cloud infrastructure is shared by multiple companies, it makes possible relatively low subscription fees. Ultimately, organizations are responsible only for the expenses related to the mobile devices themselves.
- No Hardware/Software Maintenance Costs-Premise-based systems require regular, ongoing maintenance fees. Such expenditures can be costly over time and include not only physical hardware, but software updates, security patches and license renewals, to name a few. Cloud-based solutions eliminate additional software-based investments or expensive ongoing fees for resource access and usage.
- Rightsize Solutions–Cloud solutions go beyond the limitations of premise-based software licenses where rightsizing is often problematic and costly. That’s because organizations frequently pay for more licenses than they require. By contrast, cloud-based systems enable organizations to pay for the specific number of users they need to serve or applications that must be accessed.
Cloud capabilities can help field service organizations perform demonstrably better through automated workforce management solutions. These solutions can provide visibility into day-to-day field operations. A Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model can provide effective service management at an affordable level for small, medium or enterprise-level field service organizations.
Diverse cloud-based capabilities offer significant advantages over current, premise-based field service software. These include accurate scheduling to ensure that the best resource with the most appropriate tools and skill level is dispatched to a customer at the right time. In addition, features such as automatic schedule adjustment are designed to meet specific business goals and enable adherence to pre-defined schedule policies. Comprehensive analytics tools ensure that key decision makers have all the data necessary to make informed decisions based on the appropriate data.
Cloud-based mobility offers field service organizations the ability to dispatch work to handheld devices, receive real-time updates and expand potential collaborative opportunities. While providing new levels of versatility, the cloud also provides IT staff with a streamlined on-boarding process, reducing time and resource constraints often encountered during new deployments.
As field service organizations take full advantage of the business benefits driving companies to the cloud, they gain the ability to surpass the limitations imposed by premise-based solutions. This represents the true advantage of increased mobility and cloud adoption.