How to Solve the Challenges of Offline Work in Field Services

Organizations need to manage their growing fleet of mobile and IoT devices by investing in intelligent, remote device management software.

Field Service Technicians

By 2030, there will be 25 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices worldwide. These IoT devices include anything from sensors to intelligent signage in retail to wearables. And by 2026, mobile device users will increase from 6.4 billion to 7.5 billion. What are they using? Smartphones, tablets, e-readers, music players, smartwatches and fitness trackers with smart capabilities. One can only imagine what new technology will be on that list by 2026 or 2030.

Most enterprises in the transportation and logistics (T&L), retail, healthcare and emergency services sectors are dependent on mobile devices, and they are not able to complete their duties in the field without them. With more devices in the hands of employees, there’s more to manage. So, for continued success, organizations need to manage their growing fleet of mobile and IoT devices by investing in intelligent, remote device management software.

Organizational agility is no longer an aspiration but a business necessity, along with having systems and technologies in place that can adapt to evolving conditions such as employees working out in the field or from home. Many of these devices are connected to mobile networks and will run mobile operating systems. Managing them requires the same skills, technologies and systems that companies invest in to manage any mobile devices today.

Building Apps That Can Work Offline

If field services workers are in hard-to-reach areas with little to no connection and are considered offline, the apps they use must support being offline. Otherwise, they run the risk of not being able to perform their mission-critical tasks onsite. Many apps are designed with Internet connectivity as an assumption that’s always there. Hence, it’s important for businesses to be able to build apps that can work both offline and online. Organizations can leverage modern no-code Rapid App Development tools to build apps, like SOTI Snap, quickly through a drag and drop interface and without development involvement, but more importantly, can support offline mode. This gives field services technicians the comfort of leveraging their mobile devices to input data, take pictures, perform scans, watch videos and essentially perform their duties wherever they are in the world and at any time! 

Managing Your Mobility

To support employees and prepare for the challenges that come with offline work in the field, organizations need an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)  solution. EMM solutions will efficiently deliver visibility and control of their business-critical mobile devices, understand what role each device plays in business operations, how each device is performing and what security risks are possible within a mobile network.

Without complete visibility into a company’s mobile fleet including device status, location, software updates, security and more, organizations are missing out on the full range of benefits the deployment was meant to achieve in the first place.

Additionally, having a modern diagnostic help desk solution that is tightly integrated with and designed specifically for mobile devices is critical for businesses to operate and support their employees through remote diagnosis and repair. Keeping devices in the field with quick repairs will not only support the company’s bottom line to deliver the best service but will also support the employees to boost morale and productivity.

Keeping Your Organization and Customers Safe

With an increase of mobile and IoT devices being managed by enterprises, the security risks for the organization and employees are increasing as well. Having proper security protocols in place will help ensure data integrity is always maintained. Enterprises should be taking this time to step back and analyze all security risks with their current mobile and IoT devices as well as the personal devices employees may use for work. From there, businesses can take the necessary steps to fix any current or possible issues to keep customers’ and company data secure. This can be achieved by using a comprehensive platform to manage their business-critical mobile and IoT devices.

Now is the time for organizations to take the next step and think about the future of mobile management solutions. With the right technologies and expertise, they can build on their investment in mobile technologies to expand their capabilities and maximize the benefits of their investment. Businesses can create a business-wide technology ecosystem that’s flexible, scalable and intelligent. Doing this will give them the edge they need today, set them up for success tomorrow and prepare them for the future.


Shash Anand is Vice President of Product Strategy at SOTI, the world’s most trusted provider of mobile and IoT management solutions, with more than 17,000 enterprise customers and millions of devices managed worldwide.

As Vice President of Product Strategy, Shash Anand oversees the company’s evolution from a single product centered around Mobile Device Management to an integrated platform that solves many of the challenges around enterprise mobility and IoT management. Shash holds a degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management.