Why Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Is a Natural Fit for Field Service


Mobile devices rank among the most important inventions in the history of field service. Phones, tablets, and laptops give technicians in the field access to a world of information – about client history, equipment specs, company protocols etc. – while keeping them linked, both physically and digitally, to the home office. If the biggest obstacle to field service is lack of access to critical customer or asset information, today’s internet-enabled devices are invaluable for keeping technicians connected and informed from anywhere.

The case for using mobile devices in field service is clear and compelling. Less obvious, however, is the best way to integrate these devices. Buying them for every technician comes with a significant capital outlay, along with hefty ongoing replacement costs. For many companies, the economics of this strategy appear to outweigh the advantages.

The alternative to providing mobile devices is to allow team members to use their own personal devices for work. Nearly everyone has a smartphone at this point, making it easier and more cost effective to rely on team members’ personal devices rather than buying dedicated work devices. Many people also prefer to use a device they know and like rather than take responsibility for a second device solely for work. But it is important to note that allowing people to use their own devices does raise some concerns about security, privacy, and liability.

Manage those concerns with a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy. When a company allows employees to use personal devices for work they must implement careful policies and controls.. The right BYOD strategy makes mobile devices the centerpiece of field service and simultaneously transforms what technicians (and the companies that employ them) can do.

The Basics of BYOD

Any device with a browser can potentially be useful for field service. However, it is not wise to let technicians use personal devices – which may get hacked, stolen, lost or broken – without some clear controls in place. A BYOD strategy is flexible about the device employees use but consistent about the policies they follow.

The best way to balance these competing concerns is by condensing every tool relevant to field service into a single app experience. From the user’s perspective, this helps prevent the feeling that work is taking over their device since there is a clear division between what is work (inside the app) and what is not (outside the app). From the employer’s perspective, isolating activities to one app makes it easier to standardize how operations run and secure processes along the way.

Apps make a BYOD strategy relatively easy to implement and operate because the technology dictates what users can and cannot do. Without a dedicated app, technicians would use an unpredictable array of apps in the field, necessitating a sweeping set of policies around how company assets get accessed and shared. These policies are hard to develop and even harder to enforce, making it only a matter of time before a personal device causes a problem for the whole company.

byod_nextservice-all-devicesNextService Includes the Perfect FSM Mobile App for BYOD

NextService field service management software was the first solution of its kind built specifically for NetSuite. We have always been an innovator in this space, creating the solutions that were missing from the marketplace – including a mobile app for all-in-one field service management.

Our app runs on iOS and Android devices as well as laptops. It provides technicians with a suite of features designed to make planning, executing, and completing jobs as efficient as possible. Some of those features include voice-to-text to streamline communications and record keeping, barcode scanning for inventory management, and turn-by-turn directions to aid with navigation. The app does everything so technicians do not have to resort to other apps for assistance. And when technicians close the app at the end of their shift, the geolocation features stop tracking their movements.

The next era of field service runs on mobile devices. NextService propels field service providers forward with a leading field service management platform that not only integrates seamlessly with NetSuite, but also extends effortlessly into the field in the form of a feature-rich mobile app.

Ready to embrace the next era of field service? Seeking a best-in-class field service solution that seamlessly integrates with the already robust NetSuite ERP solution? Download the NextService Product Guide or schedule a demo today!