Connected Mobile Workers Power Innovation To New Heights


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Connected Mobile Workers Power Innovation To New Heights

  1. 1. A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By Avaya Connected Mobile Workers Power Innovation To New Heights March 2012
  2. 2. Forrester Consulting Connected Mobile Workers Power Innovation To New Heights Page 1 Table Of Contents Capturing The Value And Insight Of The Mobile Workforce.......................................................................................................2 Mobile Collaboration Use Cases...........................................................................................................................................................3 Mobility Connects Employees And Customers To Enable Innovative Collaboration...............................................................5 Appendix A: Methodology.....................................................................................................................................................................6 © 2011, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester® , Technographics® , Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. For additional information, go to [1-JS2W93] About Forrester Consulting Forrester Consulting provides independent and objective research-based consulting to help leaders succeed in their organizations. Ranging in scope from a short strategy session to custom projects, Forrester’s Consulting services connect you directly with research analysts who apply expert insight to your specific business challenges. For more information, visit
  3. 3. Forrester Consulting Connected Mobile Workers Power Innovation To New Heights Page 2 Capturing The Value And Insight Of The Mobile Workforce With half of information workers (iWorkers) working from multiple locations today, it’s good business policy to make it as simple and seamless as possible for these remote workers to engage in valuable communications and collaborative interactions that drive innovation. From the first time that an iWorker receives and replies to an email while they are away from the office — thus saving their in-office time for in-person interactions or dedicated time to think through issues — they are hooked on mobility. Currently, iWorkers are adopting smartphones and tablets to enable them to be more mobile and personal cloud services to be more productive. Fifty-two percent of iWorkers use three or more devices, and 63% of those devices are mobile — 25% are smartphones or tablets, 12% are ultraportables or netbooks, and 26% are laptops.1 The value of mobility for remote workforces can hard to quantify. Benefits include employees’ improved work/life balance, increased productivity, and the ability to hire the right person and leverage their skills and expertise even if they are remote or mobile. Customer service-centric businesses benefit from mobile connectivity. For example, auto repair shops or lumberyards use mobile devices at their locations so that a customer service representative can work from their desk or in a garage or warehouse — wherever they can best resolve a customer’s issue. Many larger customer service organizations are even exposing data to customers in mobile formats so that they can self-serve while on the go, such as tracking package delivery status from a smartphone. Large organizations benefit from mobile solutions that enbable remote or traveling employees with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop to connect to a meeting via web conferencing or store, share, and edit documents via an online repository. Some electric utilities are investing in consumer social networks — posting information about outages, brownouts, and other concerns to give customers mobile access to critical information. All of these scenarios enable the business to maintain a faster pace of innovation and an improved level of customer service — a hard requirement to win business in today’s economy. In fact, customer service and collaboration are two critical areas that half of businesses expect to improve using mobile applications (see Figure 1).
  4. 4. Forrester Consulting Connected Mobile Workers Power Innovation To New Heights Page 3 Figure 1 IT Decision-Makers Expect Mobility To Drive Better Customer Service And Collaboration Base: 129 US IT decision-makers at organizations with more than 1,000 employees whose firms are currently using mobile applications or plan to implement in the next 12 months Source: Forrsights Budgets And Priorities Tracker Survey, Q2 2011 Mobile Collaboration Use Cases In most businesses mobile employees include executives, sales team, and field service personnel. These are teams that are likely to demand solutions or source their own. They are also the groups who are most likely to identify the benefits of mobile technologies. One executive spoke glowingly about his ability to collaborate and solve problems on three continents in one day and still make it to his daughter’s softball game in the evening. Without mobility, he didn’t think he could have adequately addressed all of the issues because he would have had to travel to each location to collaborate with on-site teams. Field service personnel in one organization uses mobile technologies directly connected to their products in the field to report when equipment maintenance will be required. In addition, they can consult service manuals and work guides online from the field when repairs are beyond their experience. By receiving a notification before a failure, the firm is able to dispatch repair technicians at night, giving users of their product the impression that their products always work. The clear benefits of mobility include improving productivity, enabling innovation to take place in real time, and reducing cycle times by enabling access to information and expertise across the company. Whether a mobile employee is a road warrior traveling the globe, or a corridor warrior crisscrossing the corporate campus, they lose time when they are out of touch, and their productivity suffers when they can’t find or reach experts or decision-makers. Mobility enables these employees to have the same resources at their fingertips when they are moving through their day as they “What is the business need you expect to address with this technology?” [Mobile applications] 5% 3% 5% 5% 9% 21% 25% 28% 49% 50% None of these Shift fixed captial investment into variable operating expenses Improve risk management and assessment Strengthen corporate governance and management Track and manage corporate assets Speed up launch of new products/services Gain real-time insight into company operations and key business metrics Help my firm interact with customers via social media Expand collaboration between employees and/or with key external partners Allow more customer self-service
  5. 5. Forrester Consulting Connected Mobile Workers Power Innovation To New Heights Page 4 do when they are sitting in their office. Networking decision-makers cite improved productivity and reduced cycle times as the key benefits of implementing mobile applications (see Figure 2). Figure 2 Mobility Applications Improve Productivity And Speed Business Processes Base: 305 US IT decision-makers at firms with 1,000 or more employees, whose organization is currently using mobile applications Source: Forrsights Networks And Telecom Survey, Q1 2011 Use Case 1: Improve Employee Productivity In The Field “The dynamic nature of our new intranet appealed to Gen Y (about half our workforce) making more information easy to share and consume, improving the effectiveness of project teams.” (CIO, major civil and environmental engineering firm) Getting the right information into the hands of employees is critical to completing jobs well and on time. When an employee’s job takes them away from their office or desk, they must still have access to information. Project teams at this firm were able to communicate with mobile employees better by: • Establishing secure project sites with critical documents and drawings that team members were able to share regardless of location. “What benefits, if any, has your firm experienced as a result of deploying mobile applications?” 1% 3% 7% 8% 10% 14% 15% 16% 18% 20% 38% 44% 49% 57% 70% Other None; we haven't seen any benefits Reduced inventory costs It's too soon to tell/don't know Reduced sales cycle time Increased sales revenue Improved brand perception Reduced fuel, gas, or fleet maintenance costs Reduced personnel costs Competitive differentiation Faster customer issue resolution Improved customer satisfaction Faster internal IT issue resolution Increased employee responsiveness and decision-making Increased worker productivity
  6. 6. Forrester Consulting Connected Mobile Workers Power Innovation To New Heights Page 5 • Sharing calendars, project due dates, and updating tasks so that remote workers knew exactly what was expected of them and when, as well as the status of other related tasks. • Creating customer sites so that project teams working with a customer could immediately access other projects that the firm had completed for this client and reach out to previous project teams for insight. • Adding personal pages so that remote and distributed teams could get to know each other, building team spirit and encouraging more casual communication about expertise pertinent to projects. Use Case 2: Enable Remote Workers To Collaborate Regardless Of Location “We have 12 mobility projects ongoing which deliver ... faster cycles, better citizen satisfaction and improved knowledge transfer.” (IT business planner responsible for collaboration projects for larger city government) Encouraging teleworking is a goal for this city government official who described a project that enabled building inspectors to perform their job faster, better, and at a lower cost. These inspectors have traditionally come to the downtown office in the morning and evening to receive assignments and report results of building inspections. Many also come back to the office for regular team meetings. The mobility project has enabled these workers to: • Receive and print their daily assignments from home, reducing travel time and cost. • Report the status of routine inspection results from a mobile device while at the inspection site, reducing errors as well as travel time and cost. • Use online meeting tools to conduct team meetings, reducing more travel time and cost. • Use wiki tools to enable the building inspection team to build and update best practices and guidelines jointly. Mobility Connects Employees And Customers To Enable Innovative Collaboration Today’s 24x7 work pace mandates that no time is wasted when pursuing excellence, competing for business, and creating new ideas. Enabling mobile employees to stay connected to business processes and customers more frequently will provide the foundation for improved business results and innovation based on knowledge of the market and informed by internal capabilities. Since Alexander Graham bell first uttered, “Mr. Watson – Come here. I want to see you,” in 1876, businesses have striven to connect more remote employees more seamlessly. Today, it is not the lab assistant in the next office whose assistance we need, it’s the development team on a distant continent, the field service technician traveling through rural hinterlands, or the executive jetting off to a global business center. Harnessing seamless communications to enable employees and customers to access experts, information, and decision-makers when and where they need them is the key to innovation and winning in today’s competitive global markets.
  7. 7. Forrester Consulting Connected Mobile Workers Power Innovation To New Heights Page 6 Appendix A: Methodology In this study, Forrester conducted an online survey of 133 IT and business decision-makers and interviewed six IT decision-makers at organizations with more than 1,000 employees, in the US to evaluate the challenges they face in business innovation and collaboration and to assess the investments they have made in video and mobile technologies to overcome those challenges. Survey participants included IT and business decision-makers responsible for mobile and video collaboration strategies. Questions provided to the participants asked about what elements they feel are vital to business innovation, what challenges they face in the area of collaboration, and what benefits they have realized from investments in video and mobile collaboration technologies. The study began in December 2011 and was completed in January 2012. 1 Source: Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey Q4 2011 survey of 9,912 information workers who use a total of 22,968 devices. For more information see Frank Gillett’s February 22, 2012, “Info Workers Using Mobile And Personal Devices For Work Will Transform Personal Tech Markets” report.