2022 Transportation Enterprise Mobility Outlook
<i>Data and Analysis Provided
by Hanover Research</i>
Transportation is the business of moving people and products from place to place, so it makes sense that its technology should be mobile. Most airline pilots, for example, don't drag around heavy flight bags full of manuals and charts anymore. They have lightweight tablets loaded with all the information they need. Like pilots, truck drivers can use mobile devices for everything from federally mandated electronic logbooks to other digital tools that drive higher productivity and bigger paychecks. The arrival of 5G means more and better data will help remove bottlenecks, improve operations, and boost productivity.
As a leader in enterprise mobility, Stratix does research every year to learn what's working and what isn't for organizations. In the 2022 Enterprise Mobility Outlook, we studied transportation as one of four key industry verticals, along with retail, field services, and manufacturing. The data shows that while transportation is in the business of mobility, it's not evolving its mobile technology fast enough.
Where Transportation is on the Mobile-First Journey
Because mobile technology solutions improve workflows, increase automation, and upgrade communication, many transportation organizations are embracing mobile-first principles that put mobile at the heart of strategy, operations, and the user experience.
In the 2022 Enterprise Mobility Outlook, we wanted to measure where organizations think they are in their mobile-first evolution compared with reality. Our new Mobile-First Score shows us that transportation companies are not doing well.
First, we asked respondents to rate their own organizations. Fifty-three percent of transportation organizations see themselves as mobile-first, with an additional 36 percent believing they're "somewhat" mobile-first, and only 11 percent think they're not mobile-first. (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Transportation Self-Assessment
But, we found a different story when we put survey respondents through a battery of questions designed to reveal just how mobile-first they really are. We looked at indicators like how central mobile is to decision-making, if they have a comprehensive understanding of their mobile environment, and if they're engaged in proactive digital transformation. We found a big gap between self-perception and reality (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Transportation Mobile-First Scores
Only 22 percent scored high. Thirty-five percent came in at medium, and a whopping 43 percent rated low. That low score was the worst of our four groups (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Self-perception by Industry
The data shows where transportation companies do poorly:
- Only 26 percent say decision-making on mobile solutions is centralized. Without that, leaders don't have a holistic view of the entire organization to see where there are opportunities for scale, potential savings, and increased efficiency.
- Only 47 percent have half or more of their employees using mobile devices to do their jobs. Considering how much of the transportation industry is mobile, that's a surprising statistic. But, you have to remember that many trucking companies rely on Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) that are bolted down in the cab.
- Forty-seven percent give half or more of their employees the ability to access all the applications and data they need to do their jobs from any device, anywhere.
- Only 15 percent of IT budgets are spent on mobile.
Only 38 percent have moved half or more of their workflows to mobile in the last three years.
However, there are some things that transportation companies are doing better:
- Eighty-eight percent have systems for tracking mobile devices. Tracking assets is something transportation organizations are good at—it’s their business after all—so that makes sense.
- Sixty-seven percent have an annual forecast for how many devices will need repair or replacement
- Sixty-two percent have a single Enterprise Mobility Management solution vs. a patchwork of endpoint management platforms.
So, overall, why does transportation lag behind? While some segments of the industry, like airlines, have moved faster to embrace mobile devices, others have not. That means some workflows in logistics still rely on pen and paper. Many digitized solutions were adopted in a piecemeal approach—meaning a specific solution for a specific task instead of a more holistic strategy.
The gap between self-perception and actual Mobile-First Scores can be explained—in part—by a lack of understanding of what it really is to be mobile-first. Many assume they are if they use mobile devices in some workflows, but they're missing the bigger picture and potential benefits of more comprehensive strategies.
A New Opportunity for the Trucking Industry
Trucking is an excellent example that illustrates how thinking mobile-first can make a huge difference for organizations. There was some digital transformation when the federal government mandated that all commercial vehicles have Electronic Logging Devices to record vehicle operation and driver hours by 2019. However, many companies went with fixed in-cab devices instead of mobile ones with potentially more uses.
It's well known that long-haul truck drivers are independent personas that dislike technology. There are examples of job applicants who've walked away after seeing complicated ELD systems used by some firms. They complain that in-cab technology creates more work instead of less. They find themselves creating workarounds like taking manual notes because apps don't share information.
How Mobile Devices Can
Improve Worker Safety and Lower Liability
Mobile devices are integral to how we work, especially for frontline employees in fields like transportation and logistics. But those same devices that improve productivity can be a distraction—or even a safety hazard—if they're used at the wrong times.
In this episode we talk through how contextual mobile device management works and give specific use cases and real-world examples of how it's improving safety and productivity for companies.
Listen to Podcast
Now, the arrival of 5G offers an opportunity for a do-over. If they haven't already, all the major wireless carriers will shut down their 3G networks by the end of 2022. As many fixed in-cab ELD systems rely on 3G, transportation companies are upgrading. Replacing outdated systems with a mobile device like a rugged Samsung tablet can give the driver a multi-use Android tool that is already familiar and easy to use. In addition to logging, Samsung tablets can help drivers with everything they do, like planning schedules for optimum pay, weather warnings, alternate routing, finding a road-ready trailer, guides to loading docks, vehicle inspections, and updating their load status so they can get paid.
Because all of the apps on the device are integrated and share data, there's no more need for note-taking and manual entry on multiple apps. Forms have autofill for data. Loading and routing are optimized, so there's less time spent at the loading dock and more billable miles. Considering the U.S. is experiencing a record shortage of truck drivers, creating great user experiences has to be a top priority for companies.
Mobile-first goes beyond the drivers. Customers are demanding higher levels of service. A holistic strategy enables more of what they want. New 5G technology means more, better, and faster data. That translates to more actionable supply chain visibility. Potential bottlenecks are identified quickly, communications improve, and operations get better thanks to flexibility and reliability.
Other Key Findings on Transportation Mobile Usage
Transportation involves far more than just trucking. While the industry may broadly lag on holistic mobile-first principles, many companies leverage mobile devices in specific workflows. In addition to our Mobile-First Score, the 2022 Enterprise Mobility Outlook looks at device policies and how they're used within transportation. Additionally, we wanted to understand how devices are supported, what special needs organizations have, and if there are any pain points.
Forty-seven percent of transportation organizations primarily utilize corporate-owned, business-only devices that are individually assigned. Another 24 percent primarily use shared devices—which is higher even than retail, where the practice is pretty common.
Of those that are shared, 83 percent have some that are given to an employee for the duration of their shift. Sixty-two percent have some kept in a central location to be shared, and 44 percent have some used by multiple employees at the same time.
When we looked into the challenges with shared devices, we found a relatively even distribution of complaints like long wait times, check-in and check-out problems, charging issues, and lost devices (see Figure 4).
Figure 4: Challenges with shared devices
Transportation organizations that do share devices are looking to change their strategies, with most saying they plan to upgrade devices and change their procedures. Fifty-two percent say they'll be moving to individually assigned.
Transportation organizations rarely allow employees to use their own devices for work. Only 10 percent said they have Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. Despite the buzz around BYOD in recent years, our overall survey found just 14 percent of organizations in all verticals allow it. Security concerns and privacy fears seem to be dampening enthusiasm for the idea.
Transportation organizations often rely on Managed Mobile Services Providers (MMSPs). Forty-two percent say they outsource everything. Forty-three percent use MMSPs more narrowly for deployments and telecom expense management. Only 6 percent do everything internally.
When it comes to picking an MMSP, transportation companies prefer partners with extensive expertise and capabilities. Eighty-eight percent say they find providers with "complete" solutions either "very" valuable or "extremely" valuable. Using a single MMSP that can do everything brings the benefit of simplicity.
Transportation companies can rarely rely on off-the-shelf mobile solutions. Sixty-three percent say they need "very" or "extremely" customized devices. That explains why they lean heavily towards Android as their primary operating system for mobile over iOS. Fifty-three percent use it mainly vs. 36 percent for Apple. Android offers more agility and ease of customization for enterprise customers who need highly tailored solutions in their workflows.
Transportation organizations report many challenges with managing mobile technology in-house. They include a lack of expertise, not enough resources, and endpoint security. Finding qualified staff is a significant challenge. Ninety-five percent report at least some level of difficulty with hiring.
The research also shows that internal IT teams spend a lot of time managing mobile (see Figure 5).
Figure 5: Time Spent Managing Mobile Technology
Sixty-seven percent spend more than a quarter of their day on mobile, and 25 percent more than half.
Stratix's 2022 Enterprise Mobility Outlook research shows that the transportation industry needs to accelerate its mobile-driven digital transformation. Even segments like aviation that are widely using mobile can benefit from more holistic strategies. For example, can a ruggedized device work for both in-cabin and under-the-wing workflows? That offers potential savings and simplified support.
It's clear that supply chain issues and driver shortages in trucking are long-term problems, and mobile solutions can help mitigate them. 5G and IoT offer more end-to-end supply chain visibility, which means real-time strategy improvements to avoid bottlenecks and other problems. The end of 3G is an opportunity to improve the end-user experience for drivers with mobile devices and give them easy-to-use tools that will help them be far more efficient.
The difficulty in finding top-notch talent for internal IT teams may mean that transportation companies need help designing and implementing mobile-first strategies, but you don't have to go it alone. MMSPs have the expertise and experience to get you there.
Want to see more of our research? Read the full 2022 Enterprise Mobility Outlook.
Wherever your organization is in its mobile-first journey, you don't have to go it alone. Stratix has led from the front on mobility for nearly four decades. We can help you design and deliver end-to-end mobile technology solutions that make your organization's mobility convenient, easy, and cost-effective. We execute deployments at scale and with precision, so they work in the hands of your end users out-of-the-box. Once devices are in service, we provide ongoing world-class managed services and visibility tools that ensure nonstop mobility throughout their lifecycle. For additional information, visit www.stratixcorp.com
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