What do global business leaders list as a top-ranked technology investment priority for 2013? Field service software, according to a new survey from Forrester, which surveyed some 2,200 software decision-makers on their capital spending plans for 2013. Field service ranked fourth (at 27%) closely behind sales, corporate services and customer service. Field service ranked even higher when it came to investing in mobility software — with 42% reporting they planned to invest, just behind mobile sales software at 48%.

The survey backs more evidence that the field service sector is growing aggressively. In March, U.S. employers added 221,000 more field service jobs than it did in the year-ago period — making it one of the hottest hiring categories in the United States. The unemployment rate in the sector — an enviable 4.8 percent in March.

Service Calls as New Business Generators

It’s hardly news to us that field service is a critical component of any organization. Techs don’t just fix equipment; they are valuable revenue drivers and the most visible face of a company. Some 73% of the business leaders surveyed by Forrester said “acquiring and retaining customers” was No. 1 on their to-do lists for 2013.

And who plays a pivotal role there? You got it: service techs. We can rather easily connect the desire to acquire and retain customers and the resulting investment in sales, customer service and field service. Companies are viewing these departments as the best way to achieve their goals.

The link between mobile investments and field service is another no-brainer. With efficient, easy-to-use mobile tools, service techs can do their jobs faster and cheaper — all while impressing customers. With the right mobile tools at hand, service techs can tap new revenue streams that are out-of-reach to all other departments. It appears companies are finally realizing this and are more willing than ever to invest the money necessary to make mobility pay off for them.

Do Forrester’s findings mirror what you see happening at your company? Is field service a top priority and, if so, why?