CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
October 19, 2018
Forward Thinking

Transport, logistics CEOs slow on mobile-device uptake, survey shows

Seventy percent of transportation and logistics CEOs fail to grasp the importance of rugged handheld devices, SOTI survey finds.

Mobile devices are spreading through every sector of the supply chain management industry, but a study released Thursday said around 70 percent of transportation and logistics CEOs fail to grasp the importance of utilizing the rugged handheld devices that have become necessary for much field work.

Many companies are still struggling with the basics of managing enterprise mobility, even as Internet of Things (IoT) deployments ramp up toward a forecast of 30 billion IoT devices in play by 2020, according to the study from SOTI Inc., a Mississauga, Ontario-based company that offers mobile and IoT device-management products.

About 69 percent of global respondents said their organizations are investing in mobile devices and apps to differentiate themselves from the competition, according to the study, which was based on responses from 1,300 individuals spanning seven countries, including the U.S., who worked at companies with more than 50 employees. The survey did not specify the seniority of respondents, but said they were all "remote workers," defined as using a smart device for work purposes and using it remotely at least once during the last month.

"As the future becomes increasingly mobile, devices and tools are being embedded with software, sensors, and connectivity at a rapid pace. All around the world, organizations prepare to take greater advantage of mobile technology, but there are numerous challenges they need to overcome," SOTI CEO and founder Carl Rodrigues said in a statement.

Mobile-device management is an essential tool in a world where many businesses are deploying an array of gadgets, ranging from smartphones to barcode scanners and beacons, the study stated. A company unprepared for the IoT revolution could stumble over problems such as technical failures, lack of compliance with standards, failure to monitor devices and app usage, and users running unsanctioned apps on work devices, the survey said. About 49 percent of respondents said that mobility downtime seriously hinders their ability to work.

"Many organizations are using mobility for the basics, but do not know how to implement the next level of mobile integration to transform their workforce," Rodrigues said. "This has left businesses with a piecemeal approach to their mobile operations—a disconnected set of point solutions required to perform business-critical operations."

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