SOTI research shows four in five UK organisations need operational intelligence to optimise their mobile fleet


New global research from SOTI, in a report titled Mobility in Motion: When Technology Transformation Meets Operational Intelligence, has highlighted the challenges UK organisations face in optimising their device management.

Despite 96% adopting a form of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) or Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution, a lack of features that deliver operational intelligence and enhance visibility is hindering productivity.

Across several industries, device challenges, driven by a need to digitise and support increasingly remote and distributed workforces, have led organisations to seek better methods of optimising and securing mobile devices and accelerating digital transformation goals.  

SOTI surveyed 3,650 IT professionals across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Netherlands and Australia. The research indicates that adoption of EMM/MDM solutions is widespread. Over a third (39%) of all enterprises have mobility management support teams between six and 20 people. Almost half of organizations (43%) deploy teams of over 20 staff.

Despite this, businesses are still far from perfecting device management, with ineffective processes, lack of expertise and too much choice limiting the potential utility and opportunity of EMM. 81% of UK organisations raised a need for better operational intelligence to measure business mobility performance, with 78% in need of better tools to diagnose issues and 79% of organisations requiring enhanced solutions to predict potential future issues.

“As the quantity and overall mix of devices within UK organisations continues to expand, staying ahead of device management challenges is increasingly key for productivity,” said Stefan Spendrup, VP of Sales, Northern and Western Europe at SOTI. “While there’s several encouraging trends from our research, including the fact that so many organisations are now utilising some form of mobility management solution, it’s clear that there’s still gaps that are preventing businesses from truly optimising their performance.

“By embracing more sophisticated tools that deliver operational intelligence, organisations can achieve end-to-end visibility over every aspect of device deployment. This cannot only streamline operations but also empower businesses to make informed decisions that can drive growth and innovation."

Printer Problems – a Prime Example of Device Mobility Challenges

The role of the printer is changing and has evolved in recent years to enable remote label and receipt printing as a part of a more dynamic and critical logistics process. Globally, 94% of enterprises use a mobile or industrial printer, with a wide range of new and advanced devices now being deployed within organisations and larger printer fleets needing to be managed.

The necessity for enhanced operational intelligence is apparent when it comes to printer management. Challenges highlighted in this survey included a lack of real-time centralised management to monitor the quantity and location of printers on the network (41%), and insufficient real-time information on printer settings and status (34%). This indicates that not all EMM and MDM solutions being utilised by organisations can manage printers as part of the mobile fleet.

Nearly half of respondents (49%) indicated that a lack of tools for remote troubleshooting was their number one challenge for printer management – with the need to physically return printers to the IT team for diagnostics and repair a waste of time and resources.  

The Potential for Partners – Lack of Expert Guidance Hampers Digital Transformation Progress 

The research highlights several obstacles preventing organisations from achieving much-needed device visibility. The study found that 62% of businesses do not have budget to ensure real-time visibility of mobile devices. Nearly two thirds of organisations (63%) admitted that an overall lack of awareness of potential options is holding their company back from reaching their digital transformation goals. The view of what is possible is often achieved in tandem with the partner network by assessing current systems, processes and plans in place, as a part of the digitalisation journey.

When asked about digital transformation more broadly, 46% of respondents confirmed that their organisations have already started the process but require a partner who can help. An additional area of concern was voiced by 67% who agreed that their mobile device portfolio had grown to a point where it was difficult to manage, and they need more help than ever before.

“UK organisations recognise that managing their mobile ecosystem effectively is increasingly essential, but the complexities can be overwhelming, especially when balanced against other business priorities. With the right guidance, as well as comprehensive EMM and MDM solutions, device strategy can be implemented holistically and intelligently across the entire organisation for sustained results,” concluded Spendrup.

Report Methodology

Using an online methodology, SOTI conducted 3,650 interviews with IT professionals (at experienced/professional level or above) working for organizations with 50+ employees across nine markets. All participants are aged 25 and over. Fieldwork was conducted from July 19 to July 31, 2023. The interviews are split as follows: U.S. (600 interviews), Canada (350 interviews), Mexico (350 interviews), UK (600 interviews), Germany (350 interviews), France (350 interviews), Sweden (350 interviews), Netherlands (350 interviews) and Australia (350 interviews).

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