Looking to drive efficiencies and achieve cost savings, many utilities are investing in and upgrading their mobile workforce management deployments. These enhancements are also being driven by the increasing number of mobile employees – the field workers who handle issues such as maintenance, installations, and repair. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, the global utility mobile workforce will grow from about 1.2 million employees in 2013 to more than 2.4 million by 2020.
“Utilities realize that mobile workforce solutions can help them overcome some of the largest challenges they face, including efficiency gains needed to cope with an aging workforce and enhanced preparedness for emergency situations,” says Bob Lockhart, research director with Navigant Research. “Along with increased capabilities and technological advances, the spread of smartphones and tablet computers is also causing utilities to reevaluate their investment in this space.”
Although the challenges of implementing and upgrading MWFM solutions for growing mobile workforces are significant, some utilities have already seen the value in these solutions. Those in developed regions that have implemented workforce management solutions are evaluating strategic upgrades, while those in developing regions are budgeting for initial deployments that will lead to greater efficiencies and cost savings. Worldwide utility spending on mobile workforce devices and applications will reach $421 million annually by 2020, the study concludes.