12 October 2018

Part of our commitment to providing mobile solutions that facilitate operational excellence is understanding how mobile technology is perceived and implemented by different industries.

To what extent are mobile computing systems already helping businesses achieve their goals, and in which areas could extra support or information be put to use?

Having spoken to key industry customers and partners, we have collated their responses in our Mobile Computing Survey 2018 – available to download here.  

Here’s a summary of the survey and some of our key findings.

Who did we speak to about their uptake of mobile computing?

The majority of the businesses we surveyed (44 per cent) came from the Manufacturing sector. The Logistics industry was also strongly represented (26 per cent), as were Oil and Gas firms (12 per cent). The rest of our respondents came from the Service and Maintenance, Healthcare and Utilities industries.

Of all the businesses who took part in our survey, 75 per cent are privately-owned organisations.

In terms of business size, most of our surveyed companies (28 per cent) have an estimated annual turnover of between £1 million and £10 million. A fifth of our respondents told us their turnover exceeds £100 million a year, while 18 per cent said they turn over between £10 million and £100 million annually. A smaller number (15 per cent) reported a yearly turnover of less than £1 million.

Another important aspect of our surveyed businesses was the number of mobile or field workers they have. The largest group (27 per cent) told us they have between 1 and 50 workers in the field, while 12 per cent have between 51 and 100, and 18 per cent have between 101 and 500.

How do our respondents use mobile computing solutions?

A very convincing majority of the businesses we spoke to (80 per cent) have made some sort of investment in mobile computing.

When it came to exactly what they use their mobile computers for, 60 per cent told us they use theirs specifically for data capture, although a wide range of other software applications were also mentioned. These included ‘stock control/warehouse activities’ (38 per cent), ‘workforce communication and management’ (33 per cent), ‘maintenance and inspection’ (33 per cent) and ‘job scheduling’ (31 per cent).

What kind of mobile devices do our surveyed businesses use?

Smartphones are by far the most popular type of device currently being used by our survey respondents. Also well represented were tablet computers, consumer laptops and rugged handheld devices.

Which business technologies have they recently invested in?

Over the past three years, three quarters of our survey respondents have made a significant investment in some sort of technology system. For most (33 per cent), this took the form of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or general administration software, while just a few less had invested in business intelligence or dashboard software.

In terms of mobile solutions specifically, 20 per cent of businesses we asked had deployed a form of mobile device management software.

What will their future technology investments be? 

A small majority of companies we spoke to told us they’ve no plans to spend on new technological solutions in the next three years, which could be good news for those that do. There could be plenty of scope for businesses who do make a significant investment to gain a possible competitive advantage over those that stick with existing systems.

Where investment is expected, our respondents said they thought it would most likely be in the areas of mobile application software, cloud computing and mobile device management software.

What’s preventing further adoption of mobile computing solutions?

We wanted to know if there was anything stopping our respondents from using mobile computing solutions to a greater extent within their organisations. Most told us that ‘background economic factors’ were their number one concern, while the second largest group of surveyed businesses had trouble getting senior buy-in on the cost benefits of such an investment.

Other stumbling blocks included an uncertainty on the expected return on investment, concerns that a new system wouldn’t integrate properly with existing systems and resistance from operational personnel.

Download the full Mobile Computing Survey for more

Our survey reflects a progressive picture of mobile computing uptake in business today, yet one with plenty of scope for the multiple benefits of this technology to really make themselves felt.

There are more industry insights within our full Mobile Computing Survey 2018 – download your copy now

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