Five Ways a Mobile Workforce Impacts Business Processes

The workforce looks much different today than it did 10 years ago, thanks to the pervasiveness of mobile technology. The cloud is ever-expanding, free Wi-Fi is common in public places, smartphones are ubiquitous, and people around the world are taking advantage.

Research from Neilson shows 85 percent of millennials own smartphones. International Data Corporation1 (IDC) has determined that “the U.S. mobile worker population* will grow at a steady rate over the next five years, increasing from 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020. By the end of the forecast period, IDC expects mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3 percent) of the total U.S. workforce.”

girl with tablet and graphs lexmarkAs technology enables us to work anywhere, anytime, our expectations and our responsibilities increase, and our changing work habits are impacting how businesses operate. Traditionally, when all employees of an organization were under one roof for the same general hours, communicating with customers over the same few channels, it was easy to keep track of who was where, what they were doing, and how their work affected the corporate culture and bottom line. Now, however:

  • 61 percent of workers report working outside the office at least part of the time
  • The average employee uses at least three devices daily for work activities
  • The number of devices managed in the enterprise increased 72 percent from 2014 to 2015

The mobile workforce impacts the way your organization handles a variety of operational business processes, including those associated with:

  1. Employees interacting with business processes across a variety of devices: your organization needs to be able to view processes from start to finish – regardless of the device used to complete them – in order to manage them.
  2. Employees completing processes at varying times: when employees are completing tasks across time zones, you risk bottlenecks and work duplication if you’re not tracking processes carefully.
  3. Increased chance for error and miscommunication:
  4. Real-time resource allocation: if you can see how your processes are working, you can adjust quickly when required.
  5. Increased experience expectations:your employees and customers are always connected – so they expect you to be, too. Expectations of performance, response time and self-service capabilities are increasing.

When representatives of your organization and your customers and prospects are working from every continent, in every time zone, on multiple devices each, it can be difficult to keep even basic operational business analytics. However, as the mobile workforce becomes the norm, even more than basic business intelligence is necessary – you need process intelligence. Process intelligence goes beyond basic analytics to help organizations achieve near real-time insights that show what’s working within your organization and what isn’t.

With process intelligence, your organization will gain visibility into how tasks and processes are being executed, no matter when, where and how your employees are working. You’ll be able to see when tasks are unsatisfactorily completed, completed in the wrong order, or even skipped entirely, and make the changes needed to unify your workforce and streamline your processes across the enterprise.

The workforce is going mobile – that much is inevitable. In another 10 years, the workforce will presumably bear little resemblance to the way it looks now. But the best way to position your enterprise for both today and the change to come is to employ state-of-the-art process intelligence tools. Without them, you’re already playing catch-up.

* IDC breaks the “mobile worker” designation into two groups: office-based and non-office-based. Office-based mobile workers are those whose primary workplace is a corporate or home office environment, and includes mobile professionals, occasionally mobile workers, mobile non-travelers, and telecommuters. Non-office-based mobile workers are those whose primary workplace is on location or in the field. 

is Product Marketing Director of Mobile Products and Solutions at Kofax from Lexmark and is charged with driving the company mobile strategy. He has deep mobile and navigation experience, having held positions at companies such as Telenav and Magellan. Brant holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University.