The way in which we’re working is changing, and IT leaders are at the forefront of enabling this. As highlighted in the previous article, the changes to work styles that are being driven are here to stay, even in a post-COVID environment. The question then becomes how can field workers be empowered to work more flexibly, with greater mobility, and more safely going forward?
How CIOs need to think about technology going forward
COVID-19 has accelerated the transition to a digital-first business. It has forced organisations that were behind on innovation to rapidly move five or even ten years of transformation forward. With that has come a greater awareness of the strategic value of technology. Now, those same business leaders that had adopted technology solutions to address the pandemic challenge, recognise technology’s importance as a critical component of the business, and no longer just a source of cost efficiencies as they had once been considered it to be.
Organisations that embrace the technology investments that COVID-19 has mandated can expect strategic benefits looking forward to “the next normal”. For field workers in a variety of sectors, this means they will now have access to new technologies and solutions that help them to work more efficiently, productively, and get more done while in the field.
Designing environments for innovation
CEOs are looking to their CIOs to set new agendas to capitalise on this renewed strength in the digital economy. Enabling Security and Mobility for an Agile Workforce shows that 68 per cent of CEOs want to see a digital supply chain that is a highly connected ecosystem, with partners creating, designing, delivering, and taking payment for goods and services in the most efficient and seamless manner, and thus changing the focus from the “product” to the “customer”. To achieve that, a further 66 per cent of CEOs recognised the need to achieve maximum resilience with 24/7, secure infrastructure.
For CIOs that want to focus on enabling and empowering their mobile workforces to achieve their CEO’s digital ambition, there are four particular outcomes that will yield compelling results for the business, its workers, and the customer:
- Endpoint device strategy and mobile convergence – Those organisations that have implemented enterprise mobility solutions focused on this mobile convergence trend are reporting improved employee productivity, an improved user experience, and a reduced cost of doing business. Less time is spent in terms of getting work done when the employee no longer needs to juggle multiple devices (or manual, paper-based processes), and there is greater reliability and a lower risk of human error when all work functions can be consolidated to a single device.
- Cloud environments and security – With more devices sitting on the edge, and field workers needing to connect to the network from their devices on the job, CIOs need to consider how to work with sensitive data that is hosted in the cloud safely.
- Software and application solutions – As part of the convergence process, there has also been a shift away from the focus on hardware solutions to software and applications. Software vendors have embraced mobile apps to run enterprise application software, focusing their development efforts and innovation on to the one platform. This trend has been further boosted by the pandemic forcing organisations to move away from (often high-touch) manual processes.
- AI, automation, and AR – With 5G technology on the horizon and devices more capable of handling data-heavy applications, CIOs will need to look at the opportunity that these edge computing devices and applications present, as they will become the next wave of disruption. In particular, 5G enables AI, automation and AR. These are all edge computing applications that rely on large amounts of data, and real-time processing, and the unique benefits of 5G are such that it can power these applications. Organisations that can roll out AI, automation and AR will enjoy greater efficiencies in how work is done, as well as a superior customer experience.
IT leaders needed to manage with constrained budgets in 2020. A significant portion of this investment will go into distributed workforces. As noted in the Samsung report, The New Normal: Reshaping The Future Generation of Mobile Workers (link), across many sectors, those organisations that will thrive going forward will be those that leverage technology to streamline processes, empower mobility, and modernise the way that they interact with their customers.
Mobile Innovation In Action
Unrelenting demand to reduce the time from order to delivery means warehouse and logistics operations are under more pressure than ever to keep goods moving quickly. Technology is making that possible with unprecedented new capabilities to track and manage warehouse logistics operations through innovative mobile applications and telematics technology.
For example, Samsung provided Hermes UK with Samsung XCover 4 smartphones equipped with the Scandit-powered Android app to enable couriers to scan barcodes, record signatures, take photos of where packages were left and verify identity documents, all with one device. Doing so significantly lowered Hermes’ Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for technology and empowered couriers with a more flexible and intuitive solution.
Meanwhile, in Australia, leading transport and logistics company, Linfox, has been able to leverage Samsung to improve the efficiency of its operations. The company now uses Samsung tablets to digitise all of its safety and compliance processes, asset inspections, and task management processes, with the tablet being linked back to the cloud for instant data management and co-ordination. In partnership with Samsung, Linfox now has a real-time overview to where its drivers are and the status of all inventory being transported. This limits any potential for miscommunication and helps the entire operation work more efficiently (Learn more here).
For more information on the suite of Samsung mobile solutions for field workers, click here.