The benefits for business of a connected, mobile workforce are enormous. Those benefits are primarily centered around increased capabilities and efficiencies for workers in the field, be they field service or salespeople, and along with the increases in capabilities and efficiencies comes the implied promise of increased profitability.
What Happened to Mobility’s Bottom Line?
That implied promise of increased profitability leaves many businesses scratching their collective head, however, when the bottom line is analyzed: The anticipated ROI on their mobility initiatives often just isn’t there, despite the increased productivity of the mobile workforce.
There are a few different reasons why a company might discover that their mobility ROI is not what they expected — they don’t know how to properly manage their mobile accounts to get the lowest rates possible, for example, which is a case that’s up front and easy to understand. But there’s another factor impacting mobility ROI that’s somewhat less obvious: The high support costs that can often come with a business mobility implementation.
Actually managing a mobility implementation is a many-faceted task: The devices must be ordered and properly provisioned, for example, and then distributed to the appropriate users, who will need to be trained on company-specific applications for the device. And once in the hands of users, support issues will inevitably arise — the user dropped the phone in the pool, or they forgot a password, or any of a long list of other things that can (and do) go wrong with mobile devices.
The Problem of IT and Mobile Device Support
The trouble is that all of these tasks, including mobile help desk support, are typically pushed onto the IT department to deal with. The IT department will do its best to keep up with this new workload that’s been added to all of the other things they need to do, of course, and when the help desk line rings because someone needs a password reset on their mobile device, IT will answer the call.
But therein lie some of the hidden support costs that are helping to drain ROI from business mobility initiatives. IT professionals are typically trained and skilled at their work — and compensated accordingly. The median salary for a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) network engineer in the U.S. is north of $70,000 annually, for example — and yet, it’s not uncommon in many companies to find these highly-trained, highly-paid IT personnel providing help desk-style support to mobile phone users.
IT is Great — at IT
Very obviously, there are better uses of time for these professionals — maintaining critical IT infrastructure, for example. To exacerbate the problem, although an IT professional is likely to be highly trained at network maintenance, for example, they are equally likely to be untrained in any substantive way on the very mobile devices for which they’re now tasked with providing end user support. Because they’re untrained, the support outcomes might not be as successful as they should be, or else they take longer to resolve than they would in the hands of a support specialist who was actually trained on the mobile devices being fielded.
That combination of highly-paid staff spending inordinate amounts of time to do something for which they’re not properly trained is a leading contributor to lower-than-expected ROI on mobile implementations — and it’s especially pernicious, because it can be very hard to detect at an executive level that this is where mobility is bleeding dollars away from the company.
The Right Tool for the Mobile Support Job
Fortunately, there’s a solution that both eases the headaches of IT and cuts costs while doing it. Wireless Watchdogs’ managed mobility solution (MMS) manages the entire mobile lifecycle, from planning and provisioning to help desk support to device retirement, and takes the burdens and the costs away from busy IT departments — and helps our clients truly capitalize on the promise of ROI that’s inherent to mobility. If you’d like to learn more, request a demo today and start earning the ROI you truly deserve: