What are Next Gen Remote Field Services?
Businesses have always been expected to provide high levels of support and maintenance across their entire workforce. This can be challenging enough, but as more and more employees move towards working remotely some or all of the time, it is becoming even more difficult. Despite the more distributed nature of workforces, the expectation to maintain IT service delivery remains the same.
Further complicating this matter is the fact that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of employee collaboration technologies among most companies – as many as 85%, according to McKinsey research. As a result, IT departments have had to start changing how they manage IT estates, provide break-fix support and deliver support remotely. The modern approach of achieving this is through the adoption of the Next Generation of Remote Field Services (NGRFS).
Next Gen Remote Field Services: the essentials
Next Gen Remote Field Services is part of an overall Field Service Management (FSM) industry that is growing rapidly. Figures from MarketsandMarkets show that the global industry is collectively worth around US$3 billion at present, and estimates that a need for mobility within the Internet of Things (IoT) will fuel 70% growth to US$5.1 billion by 2025.
FSM first emerged in the manufacturing sector, as major players started to embrace the potential of automation. As machinery became more reliable, the rationale of having an in-house support and maintenance team diminished as they became less and less active. Because of this, many companies outsourced their maintenance to third parties who could deliver support as and when required.
The ability to deploy these field services remotely has become increasingly viable as technology has evolved. Companies in a variety of different sectors are now able to deploy NGRFS to cut the costs of their technology, reduce downtime and remove the need for in-house expertise to keep everything up and running. NGRFS can also be integrated and managed using ITSM toolsets such as ServiceNow, further streamlining the hardware maintenance workflow.
Why Next Gen Remote Field Services could be right for you
The advantages of Next Gen Remote Field Services can stretch far beyond the actual operations of technology, key benefits include:
Proactive monitoring: under a break-fix methodology, support and maintenance only swing into action when something fails, therefore creating more downtime than necessary. Under NGRFS technology can be monitored to a granular level if required and potential damage or operational issues can be flagged quickly. This way, they can be addressed before they have any impact on the business. This solution is a positive compliment to existing break fix services for EUC (End User Computing), POS (Point of Sale), server, storage and infrastructure.
Remote maintenance: similar to the previous benefit, using NGRFS can be used to conduct maintenance remotely, which is a more cost-efficient tech exchange approach than on-site repairs and maintenance. Not only can authorised technicians access the equipment in question and conduct any repairs required, but they can do so without the need for much (if any) input from the end user. If a remote repair isn’t possible for whatever reason there are processes in place to minimise the time and commitment required to complete the fix. For example, tech lockers or vending machines can give users instant access to IT peripherals and consumables, and an ‘anytime’ location for storing devices such as laptops, with 24×7 swap-out device support.
Enhanced sustainability: the presence of third-party IT technicians on client sites is increasingly coming under scrutiny, partly because of any potential risk of spreading COVID-19, but mainly due to the large carbon footprint created by technicians travelling around the country. Moving maintenance into a remote model removes the need for technicians to visit sites, improving the sustainability credentials.
Supports new working models: with workforces becoming more distributed all the time, NGRFS is essential for delivering timely, effective support as and when required. Wherever an employee’s device is situated, our NGRFS technicians will be able to access it and make repairs remotely, without the need for end user input or for travel into the office for an in-person repair. This new approach speeds up incident resolution, in contrast to traditional SLAs and enables IT service hours to be extended to 24x7x365.
Adoption of Next Gen Remote Field Services for your IT support
ETR research has found that, according to IT decision-makers, more than a third of company workforces will be operating remotely by the end of this year. They also expect this to increase to 70% working remotely at least five days a month by 2025. This move means software and applications are becoming increasingly important to overall productivity, and consequently is redefining what businesses need in terms of IT infrastructure, support and maintenance. Next Gen Remote Field Services offer the most viable options to businesses needing to respond to a fast-changing business landscape.
Learn more about how next gen remote field services can benefit your business, and explore how SCC can help you reach your efficiency and productivity goals, here.