White Paper: An Even Playing Field? (2018)

One thing is certain in today’s field service sector, never before has service delivery been so empowered by the technology that now underpins field service management.


Cloud is, of course, one such technology and the introduction of the Software as a Service (SaaS) model that it gave life to has undoubtedly changed the way that smaller field service organisations can operate. Cloud has given them access to SaaS-based Field Service Management (FSM) solutions that in the previous CAPEX world of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century would have been simply too cost-prohibitive for them to access. 


This is one very clear example of how technology has very much levelled the playing field for smaller field service companies. 


However, almost as soon as the Cloud has finally become a widely accepted and prevalent mechanism for FSM solutions to sit upon, we then see the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) as a complete game-changer in how service will be delivered.


IoT has the potential to not just enhance the way field service operations are undertaken, as we have seen with the introduction of both Mobile and Cloud, but also entirely revolutionise the fundamental ways in which we approach field service delivery.


The long-standing break-fix methodology, which has been at the core of field service operations by necessity since the inception of field service itself, can be circumvented and replaced by proactive preventative maintenance. 


In a world of IoT, the service provider is no longer dependent upon the customer to report a fault, the asset itself can identify that it needs maintenance and the service call can be arranged in advance of the failure.


IoT absolutely offers the keys to a far better future for field service – for both service provider and customer alike, but for those smaller to medium-sized companies are we entering once again into an area of cost-prohibitive technology?


Has the playing field so neatly levelled off by the introduction of the Cloud, once again become skewed in favour of the enterprise-sized organisations?


In this white paper we shall be exploring three of the key technologies that are driving field service companies forwards; Cloud, IoT and finally, Augmented Reality (AR) as we try to identify if technology has truly given SMB field service companies an equal opportunity to deliver highly competitive service standards – or if once again the pendulum has swung back in favour of the bigger fish within the pond.

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