The need for remote connectivity is growing day by day, as the ranks of the mobile workforce swell. While enterprises are busy rolling out mobile apps to facilitate the mobile worker, they have not given connectivity the attention it requires. As the number of mobility users increases by the day, connectivity issues are slowly but surely rising to become serious issues that crash mobile apps and sap the vitality of the enterprise.
The State of Mobile Connectivity
About 80% of the mobile workforce on wi-fi, as opposed to 70% on 3G and 4G networks. However, a majority of mobile users deploy their own networks at home, and when on the move, use public wi-fi such as the service available at Starbucks and other places. In fact, a typical mobile user keeps on hopping networks when on the move.
Many apps crash and lose the work users have been doing if it loses connectivity even for a second. Users would then have to log in again, and the app, far from boosting productivity end up retarding productivity.
Mobile Connectivity Issues
Mobile connectivity issues are today the top reason for internal trouble tickets in an enterprise, and also the fastest growing category of help-desk tickets. About 50% of enterprises are making big investments in mobile, and 40% of enterprises have connectivity issues, leading to dissatisfaction among mobile users.
The reasons for connectivity issues are many. Frequent network hopping is one of the major reasons for trouble in the first place. A lot of apps require persistent connections, and app crashes when people hop mobile. 4G networks present an added issue of lack of reliability. Many 4G networks are still not stable and switch over to 3G often.
The problem is compounded when a majority of users, in fact, do not realize which network they are on at any given time. Users may, in fact, experience an issue on one network, and by the time they get to raise a ticket, they may be on another network, and by the time the ticket is addressed, the user may be in another network altogether.
Mobile connectivity issues are the hardest troubleshooting tickets to close out, making it the top enterprise challenge. When app freezes, the employee, on the move, seldom realize whether the issue is with the app itself, the device, or the connection. The help desk technician, hamstrung by limited visibility, would not be of much help either. The issue challenges the mobile users, help-desk agents, and technicians responsible for troubleshooting alike, spreading negativity and pessimism in the enterprise, besides lost productivity.
Businesses who ignore connectivity, or ignore it as an “out of control” variable are shooting themselves in the foot.
Enterprises have so far been successful in relegating mobile connectivity related issues to the backburner, as the benefits of mobility far outweigh such minor stumbling blocks. However, as mobile apps mature, mobile users become increasingly sophisticated, and businesses depend on mobility apps more than ever before, such issues soon flare up and sap the vitality of the enterprise.
Consider the case of an app that scours all information related to a customer, enabling the field executive to engage with a customer on an informed basis. If the app crashes owing to connectivity issues, or worse, the customer cannot access the app due to lack of reliability connectivity, the app essentially becomes useless.
The first task on encountering problems with an app is pin-point the source of the problem. While a disruption in network connectivity issues are rife and a prime suspect, connectivity is not the only reason for an app to under-perform or behave abnormally. The issue could very well reside at the cloud provider’s end.
Most enterprise is prompt to resolve any glitches and issues that occur within the corporate firewall. However, the bulk of the issues and the most serious issues occur outside the corporate firewall, when employee are on the move, and mobility is needed the most.
Most enterprises fail to invest in tools required to troubleshoot connectivity issues outside the network. Investment in such tools is well worth the while, as it could solve the underlying issues in real-time when the user experiencing the difficulty is still on the same network. The most basic tools undertake deep inspection, which helps pinpoint the problem to the device, network, or to network hopping, enabling technicians to secure the traffic or make any other effective amends.
Enterprises would also do well to apply technology that:
- Make the app think it is still connected to the network, to avoid crashes and data loss.
- Prioritize connections on strength, cost, or any other set policy.
- Allow technicians to monitor the network and deploy solutions that troubleshoot problems as they occur, proactively.
Apart from investing in the right tools, the enterprise also needs to secure and optimize the traffic that goes into the device.
As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure. The design and structure of the app have a big say in the vitality of the app. A well-designed app, built up adopting best practices, works seamlessly across networks is far less likely to develop issues than a poorly designed and hastily conjured app.
The best app developers focus on improving user experience across the converged fabric of networks, enabling users to flit from network to network and glide across black spots without losing out on performance.
Partner with a professional app development company who have access to the latest cutting-edge tools and expertise to deliver high-quality apps.
Above all, businesses need to make connectivity the core of their mobile strategy. Mobile apps offer a world of benefits and improve efficiency and productivity manifold, but to realize such benefits, users should be able to access the apps first.
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