Cloud and mobile technologies are transforming the way we live and work. And for field service managers looking to optimize processes and deliver stellar customer service, these innovations are especially transformative. Research firm Gartner’s annual Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management report assesses industry-leading enterprise field service management solutions — and outlines the top trends that managers should look out for. (Download a free copy of the full report here.)
Here are the five most important takeaway tips from the comprehensive report:
1. Stay Connected — Anytime, Anywhere
Field service work means being constantly connected and staying responsive. That’s why it’s imperative for the software that managers and techs use to work seamlessly across many different mobile devices, services and complementary functions like billing and network management, according to Gartner. Field service management software should also include strong social functions to keep technicians and back-office personnel connected in the field.
2. Mobile Is a Must
These days, it’s impossible to ignore the importance of having strong mobile capabilities for field service software. Trying to navigate a complex software that’s not optimized for mobile devices is a hassle for everyone who works on the go. Field service teams need high-functioning mobile apps that let users access critical tools like inventory management, sales and service quotes and even gamify some of these processes. If a dedicated mobile app isn’t an option for your business, look for HTML5-based web apps that will at least let teams access the software’s functions easily from any device.
3. Deployment Models Matter
When choosing software, field service managers should consider how it will be deployed (is it an on-premise, hosted or SaaS-based solution?) and decide what works best for their organization. According to Gartner, SaaS models are increasingly popular with field service management teams who value the convenience, simplicity and cost savings that come with cloud-based software. And as more and more software features and functions are built to work in the cloud, it’s a good idea to choose field service management software that’s built around the SaaS model so everything works smoothly as your business evolves and scales.
4. Platforms Must Play Nice with Others
Performing field service tasks often involves using ERP and CRM apps, so it’s increasingly important to pick software that communicates effectively with other systems. According to the report, the strongest vendors proved that they could easily integrate with third-party business applications.
5. Tune in to Budding Technologies
Cloud and mobile tech trends currently drive the market, but it’s also important to keep an eye on other, more nascent technologies — such as augmented reality, wearable devices, drone technology and even 3D Printing. Smart managers will keep an eye on innovative vendors’ experiments as competitors move to capitalize on these emerging trends.
Want to learn more about the latest trends in field service management software? Read the full Gartner report here.