Mobility a driver in digital transformation: study

IFS report finds devices deliver useful information to the field, even if a majority aren’t yet using it.
By Bob Vavra, content manager, CFE Media September 22, 2017
A study from enterprise software company IFS finds that those companies that use mobile devices for accessing enterprise systems are more likely to be prepared for the digital transformation underway in manufacturing.Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

“The IFS study suggests that companies with employees accessing enterprise systems from mobile devices, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise asset management (EAM) or field service management (FSM), were more prepared for digital transformation than their less-mobile peers,” said Chuck Rathmann, senior marketing communications analyst for IFS North America in a press release announcing the study’s results.

That’s the good news for the mobility space; the bad news is that just 31% of respondents in the IFS survey access enterprise software through a mobile device. Among the benefits to mobility cited in the press release are:
  • Enable accurate and real-time collection of enterprise information for more efficient operation and executive decision support
  • Improve the customer experience in field service environments
  • Increase the productivity of technical staff by allowing them to interact with systems like EAM or computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) while in the field or on the plant floor
  • Enable workers and enterprise systems to harness advanced features of mobile devices including geolocation and cameras
  • Improve the amount and quality of information available to those servicing assets or customers, allowing for better first-time-fix rates in field service environments, more reliable troubleshooting and less downtime in a plant environment
  • Allow users to engage with software systems more frequently, increasing the return on investment for enterprise software.
“Mobile is the most obvious manifestation of digital transformation,” said Rick Veague, IFS’s chief technical officer in North America, in the press release. “But when people use enterprise software from a mobile device, it indicates that the system is the lifeblood of the business. Your employees can connect into those core processes and participate even if they are not sitting at their desk. If you cannot do this, you will struggle with anything in digital transformation.”
Bob Vavra, content manager, CFE Media, bvavra@cfemedia.com.