In today’s global market, businesses that want to grow quickly need to embrace digital transformation. But more often than not, incorporating new technology into day-to-day workflows and operations becomes a roadblock that, if not addressed quickly, can stymie your ROI. This is particularly true for companies who rely on deskless team members. If those workers struggle to access newly implemented software and its data live from the field, you’re guaranteed to see delays, errors, miscommunication, and an overall disruption to your processes.
However, with enterprise mobility management (EMM), you can centralize your technologies and ensure that your deskless team members can securely access key systems and resources from wherever they are. Companies that don’t incorporate EMM into a larger digital transformation strategy are at risk of leaving a gap between ideas and execution—the company may have the “right” technology solutions in place, but workers are unable or unmotivated to use these tools in the field.
The Challenges of Digital Transformation
It goes without saying that “digital” is just one part of the digital transformation equation. Without planning properly and fostering the right culture, true transformation is impossible.
Strategies that focus solely on technology and fail to account for the existing day-to-day workflows and processes can have an especially negative impact on mobile team members. Deskless workers in particular have unique digital needs, so it can be tricky to execute a digital transformation that benefits their work.
Here are some common challenges to prepare for when creating and implementing your digital transformation strategy:
An Inability to Fully Leverage New Technologies
One of the main roadblocks of a digital transformation is understanding how proposed technologies actually mesh—or clash—with team members’ behaviors and day-to-day tasks. When you introduce new technologies without considering each step of the employee’s journey and their skillset, workers are more likely to misuse that technology or avoid it altogether.
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In this vein, integrated technology marketing expert Michael Gale claims that 84% of companies fail to digitally transform, largely because they neglect to consider human behavior. Companies waste upwards of $900 billion on failed transformations, so it’s critical to ensure technology is working for the employee, and not the other way around.
Lack of a Mobile-First Mindset
Even before 2020, mobile technology was already enmeshed in most company workflows to some degree. Now, companies have ramped up their efforts: 85% of companies surveyed in a recent report have accelerated their efforts to digitize employee collaboration, including through mobile apps.
Still, companies struggle to prioritize mobile tech for deskless workers in particular. One recent analysis found that 79% of IT decision makers acknowledge that their company could benefit from software dedicated to the needs of deskless workers. Meanwhile, only 1% of venture investment is earmarked for deskless worker technology. Given the fact that roughly 2.7 billion people—or nearly 80% of the global workforce—is made up of deskless workers, this is a challenge companies can’t afford to gloss over.
Tool Sprawl Results in Inefficient Workflows & Processes
Technology should make your job easier. While digital transformation has its benefits, 74% of employees are operating five or more apps at once during the workday, with 16% using 15 or more platforms. Team members who constantly toggle between tools and dedicate significant time to manually inputting data and updates are more likely to make mistakes, feel stressed when working in the field, and experience daily gaps in service.
Gaps in Readiness for Digital Transformation
It goes without saying that undergoing a successful digital transformation requires the right kind of preparation. Remember, roughly 84% of companies fail to digitally transform. Make sure you take into account all of the action items, stakeholders, and implications of each element—improving your infrastructure, getting buy-in, training staff members to use technology, and testing platforms—before full implementation. Even successful, well-planned digital transformations take years to implement, so if you’re ill-prepared, you’re likely setting yourself up for failure.
Why Mobile is Crucial for Digital Transformation
Your frontline workers spend most of their time in the field, traveling from appointment to appointment—a workflow that doesn’t afford them much time to sit down and transcribe handwritten notes and log updates, compared to workers based in a central office. Without the right tools, deskless workers are often late submitting reports and are more likely to have to deal with misinformation in one form or another.
Especially for a deskless workforce, mobile solutions are a key factor in a successful digital transformation. They give your deskless team members access to the devices and technology they need to perform their job at the highest level. With a mobile-first approach, you can streamline processes and efficiencies across departments: Mobile workers can view real-time communication, schedule and automate workflows, and record data that’s crucial to the success of your frontline process.
And one of the best ways to ensure this sort of mobile-first approach? Enterprise mobility management (EMM).
7 Ways Enterprise Mobility Can Help Drive Digital Transformation
At its core, enterprise mobility management is about ensuring that the mobile devices, applications, and platforms your workers rely on are secure. Though that concept may sound like a mundane IT requirement, done properly, enterprise mobility management can be a critical asset in your digital transformation efforts.
1. Fully Leverage Technologies to Optimize Workflows
The very nature of EMM forces companies to take stock of their technological capabilities. In order to properly secure and manage your information and mobile devices, you should know all of the ways employees can access data: through the cloud, on-prem capabilities, or a hybrid method. You also need to understand how all of your various applications and platforms integrate and share information.
As a result, you’ll gain a good understanding of how information flows and, most importantly, how to eliminate unnecessary clogs in that flow. The benefits are twofold: Not only do you gain invaluable insights for your digital transformation plans, but you can also ensure your mobile workers are using the most efficient workflows possible.
2. Drive Workforce Productivity
To the point above, ironing out inefficient workflows is one the biggest drivers of employee productivity. With proper EMM to support your digital transformation, you give deskless employees full, secure access to all of the tools they need to do their jobs. By providing more streamlined workflows and the confidence that their processes are secure, it’s easy for mobile workers to capture critical information live in the field and share updates quickly and safely.
3. Better Empower Mobile Workers to Deliver Services
With access to the full capabilities of their mobile tech and the subsequent bump in productivity, your digital transformation also sets your field workers up to successfully deliver core services. Not only can they capture the data they need in real time, but they’re able to view necessary data, too. Details like customer history, repair history, and projected maintenance timelines are all at their fingertips. As a result, mobile workers can troubleshoot issues and provide customers with the service and experience they expect—and managers know that information is being stored, accessed, and shared securely every time.
4. Ensure Increased Security
The more technology platforms and access points you have, the more at-risk you are to company-wide data breaches, malware attacks, and more. But proper EMM should significantly reduce the security risks that threaten a mobile, deskless workforce. Developing robust security policies; establishing tiered access and permissions settings; requiring digital certifications, device enrollment, and authentications are all part of a robust EMM strategy that strengthen your digital transformation.
5. Seamlessly Integrate Your Existing Technologies
Supporting your digital transformation plans with EMM also helps accelerate the adoption of necessary integrations. By actively managing your mobile programs and platforms, you can better ensure that they link up with your vital, legacy solutions: electronic health record (EHR), customer relationship management (CRM), and human resources (HR) systems, for example, all have valuable data that supports and empowers day-to-day work. A mobile app with strong role-based permissions means employees can access everything they need from a single device or platform.
6. Enable Data-Driven Decision Making
Field staff and strategic decision-makers alike need the most accurate and recent information to make informed judgements. By using enterprise mobility management in your digital transformation to streamline and integrate your tech stack, you create a comprehensive data source that gives invaluable insights.
For instance, you can analyze historical maintenance records for various manufacturing plants to predict repairs. Then, you can put that data into the hands of service technicians. With that information, they’ll be able to better determine the root cause of any malfunctions and give customers a heads up as to potential issues to look out for down the line.
7. Improve Transparency Across Digital Workflows
With so many moving parts making up modern businesses, it’s easy for information to get lost in the shuffle. But implementing EMM in your digital transformation increases transparency. By connecting mobile platforms to traditional, legacy platforms and opening up the flow of information, everyone from field workers to C-suite decision-makers can see what’s happening at every level.
Enterprise Mobility, Digital Transformation, and the Deskless Workforce
As the deskless workforce grows, so, too, do the technologies available to support them. Mobile technologies in particular have become pivotal to the success of deskless teams, so enterprise mobility management has become more necessary than ever.
Though it’s an important success factor in digital transformation, EMM alone isn’t enough to create cohesive mobile workflows. You need to be able to combine all of the tools and processes that serve your business into one, centralized platform.
Skedulo’s Deskless Productivity Cloud helps you get more out of your EMM and digital transformation strategies by optimizing scheduling, increasing employee engagement, driving productivity, analyzing based on KPIs, and more.
Learn more about how Skedulo can help you reach your digital transformation goals and empower the next generation of deskless workers.