Mobility

How mobile tech is failing workers and hurting productivity, according to new survey

While more than 50% of senior executives intend to expand their mobile workforce, new mobile technology and connectivity have posed challenges. Here's advice for overcoming the hurdles.

Image: iStockphoto.com/Issam Khriji


Business leaders are increasingly turning attention to mobile strategy: In 2016, 80% of organizations named it as "a key enabler" for reaching business goals.

But integrating mobile into enterprises does not come without challenges. On Tuesday, a new study of senior-level executives demonstrated exactly how much difficulty organizations are experiencing in mobile installations.

"There is an urgent need across businesses to make sweeping improvements in mobile performance management," said Christopher Kenessey, CEO and president of NetMotion Software, in a press release. "Existing problems will only increase as businesses expand their mobile deployments. This affects everything from customer service to employee turnover and directly impacts the bottom line."

The Q3 2016 study, conducted by WBR Digital and sponsored by NetMotion Software, explored the experiences of 110 top executives of global enterprises in integrating mobile technologies in their workforce.

More than 50% of the group said that they plan to expand their mobile workforce this year. And 15% reported that they intend to grow more than 20% in this area. But even with the emphasis on adopting new mobile technology and increasing mobile use, more than 60% of executives said that these changes have led to new problems, including an increase in support tickets. Forty percent of senior leaders said that they faced hundreds of connectivity-related issues per month. And almost 50% expressed trouble diagnosing connectivity issues in the field.

The top reasons for the increase in support tickets were adjusting to new mobile technology and connectivity, according to the survey. Almost half of organizations said they saw up to 300 tickets related to connectivity per month—and almost half of those could not diagnose the problems.

So how can these issues be addressed? The survey recommends that companies "fill network gaps in order to preserve user and application access across networks." Performance management technology was rated the most important piece of the enterprise mobility strategy for top executives, in fact.

SEE: Mobility in 2017: More location-based apps and IoT advancements

According to John Knopf, vice president of product management for NetMotion, employees want and expect the same caliber of connectivity in the field that they have in an office—which they often don't receive. More than a quarter of IT departments report 25 to 75 support tickets a week due to connectivity.

"The problem is quickly scaling beyond control for many businesses," said Kenessey in the release. IT departments, he said, "must have tools to perform mobile root cause analysis on trouble tickets they receive from remote users." Without that, productivity will take a big hit as a result of hours of troubleshooting work, he added.

The most valuable piece of mobile deployment, according to the survey, is security technologies. Geo-fencing, which offers security for devices and networks, can protect information from malware or theft, for instance.

The key to success in mobile deployment rests, according to top executives, in the combination of user support and security.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Some 80% of organizations call mobile strategy a "key enabler" for reaching business goals in 2017. In a new survey, more than 50% of top executives plan to expand their mobile workforce this year and 15% intend to grow more than 20% in this area.
  2. Despite the emphasis on mobile, 60% of top executives express challenges with the new technology, and 50% report up to 300 support tickets a month due to connectivity.
  3. Struggling IT departments must have the tools to perform mobile root cause analysis on trouble tickets they receive from remote users, according to Christopher Kenessey, CEO and president of NetMotion Software.

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About Hope Reese

Hope Reese is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers the intersection of technology and society, examining the people and ideas that transform how we live today.

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