60 pc Asia Pacific businesses see mobile technology investment as key priority: study

New Delhi: Mobile technology investment will be a growing priority for up to 60 percent of Asia-Pacific organizations, according to the findings of Zebra Technologies‘ latest Asia-Pacific vision study on the Future of Field Operations.

Investments will be made in disruptive technologies and enterprise mobile devices to enhance front-line worker productivity and customer satisfaction in field operations including fleet management, field services, proof of delivery and direct store delivery workflows as per the findings.

Key survey findings:

Equipping front-line workers with enterprise mobile devices remains a priority to stay competitive.

  • In Asia-Pacific, up to 44 percent of the organizations view mobility investment as a top priority.
  • 58 percent of Asia-Pacific organizations are expanding mobile technology to enterprise-wide use – reaching 97 percent by 2023.
  • From 2018 to 2023, the use of handheld mobile computers with built-in barcode scanners in Asia-Pacific is forecasted to grow by 41 percent, mobile printers by 60 percent and rugged tablets by 57 percent. The higher levels of inventory, shipment and asset accuracy provided by using these devices is expected to increase business revenues.

Tertiary concerns and post-sale factors are important for organizations when evaluating front-line worker enterprise mobile devices.

  • Mobile-first organizations in Asia-Pacific are conducting total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis prior to a major capital expenditure on mobile technology up to 83 percent of the time.
  • Only 34 percent of the survey respondents believe that consumer smartphones have better TCO than rugged devices.

Emerging technologies and faster networks are disrupting field operations.

  • Mobile-first organizations in Asia-Pacific tend to be early adopters of emerging efficiency-boosting field operations technologies.
  • Mobile-first organizations in Asia-Pacific are expected to:
    • Implement the use of sensors, radio frequency identification (RFID) and intelligent labels from 76 percent to 98 percent from end 2018 till 2023.
    • Make greater use of augmented reality applications from 68 percent to 95 percent from end 2018 till 2023, which can make detail-oriented workflows such as merchandising much more efficient.
    • Have greater use of blockchain from 68 percent to 96 percent from end 2018 till 2023 to track goods’ chains of custody or document service by multiple partnering firms.

“Driven by the acceleration of e-commerce along with customer’s heightened expectations and more focus within companies on differentiating service levels, the field operations industry is rapidly adapting the way it looks at its mobile technology investments,” said Tan Aik Jin, APAC Vertical Solutions Lead, Manufacturing and Transportation & Logistics, Zebra Technologies.

“Our study shows how growing challenges related to the on-demand economy drive organizations to adopt transformative, disruptive technologies such as augmented reality and intelligent labels to provide visibility and integrate business intelligence for a performance edge,” added Aik.

“Based on our study, the top three trends that are driving changes for field operations across Asia-Pacific including India, are; growing expectations of performance and convenience from end customers, the replacement of paper in the field by mobile technology, and the disruptions to field operations caused by emerging technologies and faster networks,” said Deep Agarwal, Regional Sales Director – India, Zebra Technologies.

“In Asia Pacific including India more than half of the organizations have a mobile-first mindset when it comes to adopting enterprise-wide mobile and emerging technologies. And these forward-thinking organizations are setting their field operations apart with three key strategies; the scaling of mobile technology and support technologies enterprise-wide, evaluating the total cost of ownership of mobile technology as a standard practice, and utilizing emerging field operations technologies more extensively to achieve a competitive edge,” added Agarwal.

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