Growth in the mobile devices market over the past few years has been huge. With smartphone sales surpassing feature phones last year, the world has become accustomed to having a multi-functional device in their pocket at all times. Alongside this growth, businesses have battled to keep up with the changing landscape of mobility and wider IT challenges. Additionally, the rise in ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD), threatens security, productivity and customer service.
Businesses have been ramping up their in-building mobile communication strategies and realised the potential of a more mobile workforce and empowered deskless employees. This involves improving the internal infrastructure with wireless access points to enable mobile handsets that can achieve guaranteed service, voice quality and communication.
Certain types of in-building mobile employees, such as nurses, retail workers and those working in the manufacturing industry, require a very specific set of functions from a workplace mobile handset. However, mobility strategies are still not viewed as a top priority and as such, important considerations can be sometimes dismissed as insignificant. It is those companies that are placing specific considerations as a top priority that are truly benefiting from mobility to its full potential. To ensure that you focus on the right considerations, you should set business objectives in the following areas:
One of the first objectives is what type of functionality you require. Do you need a mobile device that simply makes voice calls, or do you require further functionality than this? For lone workers, alarms that alert other staff to an accident may be required, or for retail workers, a barcode scanner may be needed. This will help you to determine whether you need a Wi-Fi controlled device for more extensive data-intensive applications.
2. Voice Availability & Clarity
Some mobile employees need to be available constantly, whether they’re underground, in a store cupboard or in a ‘dead spot’ within a factory for example. You should assess how important it is that the mobile worker is available to connect with at any time before deciding what type of device to choose. Based on device and network design, you can ensure that your employees are contactable, no matter where they are.
Return on investment is critical for any business implementation. However, you should set clear objectives on exactly what you expect to achieve through your new mobile communications strategy, and where you’d like to make savings. This will help to define what sort of handset you ultimately choose. For example, if you are currently spending a lot of money on fixing or replacing broken handsets, you may want to set out to reduce this cost. This will lead to a decision towards a more rugged handset which is built to last.
4. Improved Productivity
Think about how you intend to measure productivity and performance, and consider the needs of staff to help them do their job effectively. Efficiency is essential to businesses and it is important that you are providing staff with the tools to be as productive as possible. Notably, with BYOD strategies, productivity can be hindered due to further distractions and this should be assessed.
Before embarking on a mobile communications strategy, it is vital that you define your objectives early on in the process. These objectives will be unique to every organisation and should be based on your overarching business strategy and requirements of employees. By determining what is most important to you – whether that be improved productivity or communications, better customer or patient service, or voice and data requirements – you will be better equipped to tackle the next stage of deciding on a solution.