Mobile’s new frontier: The front line of business

Workers who don’t work at a desk are finally starting to see mobile technology become standard tools to improve their work — and business results — as CIOs focus more outside the office.

Mobile’s new frontier: The front line of business
Diego Cervo / Getty Images

For all the advances of the mobile revolution, a huge swath of the business has largely been left out: front-line workers — ironically, your organization’s most mobile employees.

While knowledge workers have relied on iPhones, iPads, and Galaxys for years now to help ensure their productivity, hospital care staff, retail associates, warehouse staff, delivery people, construction workers, and so many more whose jobs aren’t at desks have hobbled along with embedded devices connected to siloed systems.

Yes, there have been pockets of smartphone and tablet use in these front-line industries, especially in healthcare, but it has never been ubiquitous. That’s changing today, with front-line workers poised to join the modern mobile workforce, according to IDC analyst Bryan Bassett and Gartner analyst Leif-Olaf Wallin, both of whom have studied the market for years.

Gartner estimates that the front line will grow from 10 percent of all enterprise mobile investment in 2019 to 40 percent in 2024. Better efficiency, customer-facing quality improvements, and improved compliance and internal operational quality are the main drivers, Wallin says, adding that technical advances such as machine learning and virtual assistance, as well as cheaper and better sensors, are also playing a part in driving new business benefits for a fully mobilized front-line workforce.

Mobilizing the front lines

To continue reading this article register now

7 secrets of successful remote IT teams