A recent article in the Wall Street Journal has highlighted the falling productivity of American workers. Focusing on the aspect of economic growth known as “total factor productivity,” the article argued that recent gains in research and technological development have failed to adequately equip the workforce with tools that can expand its current capabilities. Citing hurdles to innovation ranging from the decreasing marginal return on research investments to government regulation, the article contends that when it comes to enhancing the average quality of life and worker productivity, we are “out of big ideas.” However, in our opinion, the reality is more encouraging: The Wall Street Journal’s pessimistic viewpoint discounts the significant impact of enterprise mobility solutions on today’s workforce.
Enterprise mobility, the shift in work habits towards working out of the office and using mobile devices and cloud services, genuinely enhances the productivity of modern workers. In other words, enterprise mobility enables mobile workers to harness the power of today’s smart mobile devices and the networks supporting them to make informed decisions in real time at the point of interaction with tools that can be scaled across entire organizations. These developments untether the workforce, enabling them to personally collaborate with individuals and groups in different locations while maintaining all the capabilities of working from their desk. Cloud capabilities allow file sharing between computers, corporate servers, and mobile phones. “Smart Warehouses” help employees identify and navigate to desired containers. Customers are more involved than ever in engaging with companies and have unprecedented visibility into the status and condition of orders they have placed.
The use cases and opportunities continue to multiply and span virtually every sector, from Vodafone and partner PHT providing thousands of tablets to record the results of clinical trials to Zebra Technologies equipping Home Depot retail associates with rugged smartphones to allow them to spend more time directly interacting with and supporting customers. The cost savings can be equally transformational as witnessed by Saarland’s (Germany) Police Department, which saved roughly $6 million after equipping their vehicles with HP computers.
Contrary to the opinion of the Wall Street Journal, we are not “out of big ideas.” Significant strides are still being made in equipping the modern workforce with tools that enhance their productivity, and new investments in this field are actively rewarded as more industries move to embrace these capabilities. There are still big rewards for big ideas, especially within enterprise mobility.
View the 2017 Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Research Outline to learn more.