by Sam Francis, md with Tek Express
Anyone responsible for an organisation or department that employs field based staff, will no doubt be familiar with the issues presented by their use of mobile technology such as phones, laptops and tablets. Providing staff with secure, well managed and well supported access to data and software via these devices, plus ensuring the fast replacement of hardware in the event of loss, theft or fault, is all part of a successful MDM (mobile device management) implementation. Whilst many organisations may be successful at implementing their own mobile device policies and management systems, there are still opportunities for companies to reduce costs and improve the productivity of their field staff by outsourcing MDM requirements in entirety. Here are some of the key reasons to consider: -
Reformulation of a mobile device policy for better performance
IT support firms specialising in MDM will be able to troubleshoot any issues with a current mobile device policy and suggest methods for streamlining costs and creating efficiencies.
This could be in areas such as mobile usage and reimbursement, BYOD [Bring Your Own Device) implementation or tactics for reducing tech support costs.
Better implementation of new technologies
Introducing new technologies via an in-house IT team may involve extensive training and human resource allocation.
However, support firms specialising in MDM are likely to be able to provide a transition to new technology with very little upheaval or resourcing for the client.
Tracking technologies such as real-time routing software, call-ahead solutions (preventing abortive customer visits) and GPS systems are just some tools enabling better productivity for field staff.
A good IT support company should be able to help firms implement these kinds of technologies seamlessly.
Increase the life cycle of remote devices
In the event of hardware failure, many organisations simply opt for a full replacement of the broken device.
In some instances, the organisation will use an external supplier for parts replacement.
However, both options can be costly, especially in companies employing large numbers of field staff.
One way to further reduce costs is to work with a support firm who endeavour to repair rather than replace and can work with an organisaation to ensure targets for increasing the life cycle of devices are met.
A good IT firm will also carry out preventative maintenance on any mobile devices, ensuring that devices which go out into the field do not fail.
Instigate better control over IT costs
Outsourcing an MDM solution converts a fixed cost into a variable cost, which allows for better budgeting.
Put another way, organisations only have to pay for what they need, when they need it.
A good IT support firm will also provide accurate budget forecasting, enabling organisations to ensure that their costs are not spiralling.
More efficient management of fixed assets
If managing assets is not part of the core business, inevitably organisations will experience increases in downtime created by hardware failure, increases in internal resourcing and increases in hardware spend.
Outsourcing to an MDM specialist should ensure that the opposite to these scenarios occurs.
In addition, a good external supplier should be able to manage and administrate both company and employee owned devices in scenarios where a basic or comprehensive BYOD policy is in place.
Furthermore, with a controlled asset management policy in place, organisations can ensure full utilisation of their devices and avoid the added costs of buying too much equipment.
Quicker resolution to issues and happier staff
Internal IT departments can often find themselves swamped in the issues experienced by field staff, as well as staff in general.
Outsourcing MDM should ensure that field workers get a solution tailored to their specific mobile device needs and a fast resolve too, resulting in happier and more productive staff.
This also means that an internal IT team can focus fully on company projects and not get pulled into disruptive maintenance work.
Outsourcing MDM is not a replacement to an internal IT team but a valid method for improving the productivity of field staff and an opportunity to reduce costs.
Sam Francis is the managing director of the specialist mobile device IT support company, Tek Express. Sam’s company has helped large organisations to improve the efficiency of their field based workers, reduce downtime and decrease hardware spend.