In an industry where the idea of mobility is effectively in the job title, field service techs are no strangers to the many gadgets and instruments that make working from the field possible. A good portion of a tech’s day is spent behind the wheel of a van, driving from job to job. Mobile devices, such as rugged PCs and smartphones, make staying organized and in touch with colleagues and managers possible.

These days, even industries with traditionally stationary workforce are jumping on the mobile bandwagon, following in field service’s footsteps if you will. Take the recent Enterprise Mobility Exchange in Brussels as an example. Instead of the usual roster of speakers targeting field service, utilities and transport verticals, the lineup included speakers from British Airways, British grocery story chain Sainsbury’s, Virgin Media, DHL and FedEx.

“Field mobility is the old guard of enterprise mobility,” writes ITWorld’s Nicholas McQuire, who attended the conference. “It is in this tranche of the enterprise where hard business process enablement, productivity gains, cost reduction and real strategic dependency on mobility occurs. But as in the wider enterprise, today, new consumer-friendly form factors, location technologies and demand for mobile applications are forcing IT departments to look much wider than a siloed set of point solutions when crafting their mobile workforce strategies.”

A few key highlights McQuire took away from the conference that field service managers and newcomers to the mobile enterprise arena should keep in mind:

  • Android anticipation: Attendees made it clear that they were looking forward to the rollout of rugged Android devices.
  • Mobile solutions: Apps abounded and attendees tuned in to find out how these solutions could help drive their business.
  • New tech: Fleet management, utilities and transport & logistics are all industries that will be transformed by new mobile solutions on the horizon.

This revolution in mobile isn’t just a topic of conversation in Europe either. A similar Enterprise Mobility Exchange event in Las Vegas, attended by companies such as Ford, Proctor & Gamble, General Electric and others, will take place in November.

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ABOUT Sara Suddes

San Francisco-based contributor Sara Suddes writes frequently about small business, the economy and technology.