In writing our piece on enterprise mobility trends a year ago who saw that coming! we were blissfully preparing to head into a new year unaware of what was around the corner. The Covid-19 has brought radical changes to our lives and how many businesses work. While some of the old ways may eventually re-emerge there is now a wide consensus that there will be no return to what we thought of as business normal.
After a year of Coronavirus much of our focus for 2021 will be less about product feeds and speeds or what tech has become fashionable and more about how technology and leadership mindset can be used to sharpen business competitiveness and mobile worker workflow.
1. Low Touch Economy
The term ‘Low Touch Economy’ was coined by the Board of Innovation to describe an era where companies will need to adapt their business models to work with the different health measures and other challenges that Covid-19 presents. incorporates such constraints as travel bans, limitations on gatherings and isolation of vulnerable groups. These restrict measures will require behavioural shifts beyond our personal lives into how we interact with each other at work and with our customers.
In today’s climate the message for Finance Operations and IT leaders in any industry vertical is simple, get with it or lose out to competitors who adopt enterprise mobility devices and apps to streamline remote worker processes improve productivity and reduce admin cycle times.
2. The World of Work
One of the major impacts of the Covid crisis has been the ability of many previously office based workers to adopt Zoom and Teams and thus appear to be just as productive working at home. We believe that once the virus becomes under control this will not be a forever trend. Businesses and the people that work within them are too welded to the office having meetings travelling and scheduling gatherings but for sure for many the 9-5 has become thing of the past. Any bounce back will not happen anytime soon and certainly not for at least a technology refresh cycle so it is important to consider.
After the initial virus out break out traditional computer shipments remained strong. Gartner reporting a 2.8% WW growth in the second quarter of 2020 of desktops and traditional portable devices. We believe these trends will continue with more managerial, admin sales and project management staff equipping themselves for long term work at home or drop in offices. Expect to see laptops and tablets like the Microsoft Surface continue to be popular. Enterprise Mobility Trends
For shop floor workers the virus will hasten trends like automation and workflow optimisation. All things that seem to get adopted faster during an economic downturn. Expect to see more deployments of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) systems and the associated device management apps to run them.
3. Fewer Staff More Automation And a Focus on Worker Safety
Organisations that make investments in information technology tend see an increase in the effectiveness of their processes. The benefits of these investments may not be fully realised due to gaps in information flow and snags with legacy system integration. We believe that as companies shed staff we expect to see one of the enterprise mobility trends to be more interest in systems especially in manufacturing and warehousing that integrate with multiple information systems including building management, fire alarm, clinical location and and dispatch systems to enable an improved and integrated workflow environment.
4. Supply Chain Deliver to Promise
We believe SME and larger enterprises especially those deemed essential during a lockdown scenario will invest strongly in mobile enterprise projects and system upgrades. This will impact the whole supply chain but not all in the same way. Whilst UPS saw a near 14% rise in volumes in the US during Q3 other participants have had to close temporarily. An Infosys survey estimated around 40% of respondents were looking to adopt new inventory management techniques home delivery and click and collect systems.
5. Get a Plan B
It is clear that all business sectors will face a challenge. Those where normally large number of people people gather in close proximity are likely to see reduced demand and are more likely to get closed down earlier. This means sectors based round areas such as travel leisure and venues are likely to see tough times. Alexa von Tobel recommends a re-visit to the basics and re-examine what is at the core of your business value proposition whilst considering what mobile workflow applications can be optimised.
Get in touch to chat about Enterprise Mobility Trends for 2021 arrange a webinar or socially distant meeting about your enterprise mobility project.