Why a mobile workforce needs a mobile service desk

By 2015, the number of mobile workers in the world will reach 1.3 billion, according to a recent IDG Connect study. A similar Cisco study found that three out of five workers say they don’t need to be in the office to be productive. The fact is that workers don’t want to be tied to their desktops anymore. And they don’t need to be, nor should they be. Work is now something you do, not a place you go to. And for many people, location doesn’t really matter – in a hotel, on a plane, at home, or in a cafe.

Britain is striving ahead with flexible working trends, with recent law changes now giving all employees the legal right to request flexible working – not just parents and carers. Cloud programmes, SaaS and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are all trends that have contributed to everyone having the opportunity to gain greater freedom and a better work-life balance. The mobile workforce trend is here to stay, but what role does the service desk need to play to ensure that this trend doesn’t disadvantage companies and remote workers?

The need for support doesn’t stop at the office door

Mobile devices are now part of every aspect of modern life and the working day is no exception; they have become a critical enabler for productivity on the move. While workers are out of the office, they need access to services and support, so the service desk is presented with a new challenge – providing mobile touch points to keep workers productive and happy wherever they might be.

> See also: The mobile workforce will transform everything we thought we knew about networks: Dominic Orr, CEO, Aruba Networks

By providing mobile support apps for the end user community, you empower that community to order services, request support, and find information wherever the end users are – without the need to contact the service desk. This will end the repeated calls from users trying to find out the status of their incidents, as the information is now easily accessible through their mobiles.

Supporting end users on the move

Extending the digital reach of the service desk means you can support a mobile workforce and reduce operational costs. It’s a win-win situation. IT customers are happy that they can get what they need. And IT drastically reduces the volume of expensive calls coming into the service desk. A call to the service desk might ring out, but a mobile support app is always there.

On top of this, mobile support finally makes the BYOD trend useful to IT. With every mobile worker carrying an average of 3.5 devices, the chances are that any given user will have at least one tablet or smartphone that is compatible with your mobile support app. Now, launching a mobile service desk app doesn’t necessarily mean issuing hundreds or thousands of new (and expensive) gadgets to end users.

Connecting IT people on the move

But it’s not just end users who can benefit from mobile access to the service desk ‘hub.’ IT managers and technicians are also increasingly on the move and need to stay in touch with what’s going on. For IT operations managers, mobile access to dashboards, reports, and support queues equate to real-time visibility of performance status and issues that require management intervention.

By reducing the delay between incident and awareness, IT can respond more quickly, reduce downtime, and optimise end user productivity, all of which in turn translates into higher profitability for the company. How many IT ops managers would say ‘no’ to better visibility of IT performance when they’re out of the office?

Support technicians also benefit. Mobile apps mean the technicians are always connected to the service desk hub – whether they’re attending to an end user at their desk or heading in to the office on the train. With mobile access to their incident queue, it’s the end for printed job tickets. And they don’t need to return to their desks between tasks, which makes them more productive. Access to the full range of ?ITSM data while on the move increases the fix rate and reduces the time taken to resolve issues, which increases the productivity of the technician and the end user alike.

> See also: Citrix CEO reveals his strategy for the future mobile workforce

In today’s world, having a mobile support app that connects people to IT is a no-brainer. There are cost benefits to be found across the whole organisation. End users and IT workers are freed from their desks, giving them more freedom and flexibility to work in ways that suit them best. Technicians are more efficient and effective in the field. Finally, IT managers have greater visibility and control over IT performance. With so many benefits, it’s clear that a mobile workforce does need a mobile service desk.

Sourced from Arvind Parthiban, Marketing Manager, ManageEngine

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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