To 2025 and beyond: the rising role of tech in field operations

Zebra Technologies
Tuesday, 01 June, 2021



First responders deal with extreme situations, and they do it while racing against the clock. The unpredictability of the job means they have no margin for error. For them, more than anyone else, every second counts.

By understanding what obstacles first responders face, organisations can select the right technology tools to keep them safe, help them work faster and perform their critical roles effectively.

Zebra Technologies recently surveyed 146 decision-makers on the current state of technology usage in the public sector, to identify the key challenges and future trends that will have an impact on public sector agencies over the next five years.

The report found nearly nine out of ten public sector agencies believe increased expectations from citizens are driving the need for more efficient field operations. Technology will play an essential part in enabling field operations teams to keep up with these rising demands.

72% of the agencies surveyed expressed concern that they aren’t investing quickly enough into mobile technology, and many are looking to upgrade their teams with new devices in the next few years.

Life-saving technology anywhere, anytime

When public sector agencies supply first responders with advanced mobile devices, it provides greater opportunities for success. The ability to access medical records, maps of buildings, personnel location, and real-time video and traffic updates allows first responders to act more swiftly, which could be the difference between life and death.

Today, mobile technology implementation allocates for 38% of satisfied personnel, however that is likely to almost double to 78% within the next year.

Improving the effectiveness of first responders with mobile solutions

Mobile technology is improving the standard for success in the public sector by giving first responders more tools to help those in need. Agencies are already seeing the positive impact mobile devices are making, and more improvements are expected in the next year.

Today, 45% of organisations have experienced reduced operating costs, and 79% expect this in the next year.

Rugged mobile devices are a top choice

Today, 41% of companies have begun using rugged tablets, and this is expected to increase to 85% within the next year. In addition, 95% of respondents say their mobile strategy will involve using rugged smartphones with the next 3 years and 90% will implement rugged 2-in-1 tablets over the same period.

The public sector has transitioned to a mobile-first approach as paper-based methods of operation cease to exist. As part of this shift, public sector agencies have begun using applications to make data collection, communication, and navigation more efficient.

Mobile technology benefits

Looking into the next five years, at least 90% of agencies plan to implement technologies including cloud computing, analytics, machine learning and device management systems.

Mobile devices and other technologies are transforming the public sector, by providing first responders with greater visibility and situational awareness in emergencies and allowing them to stay safer in dangerous situations.

Improved accessibility to real-time navigation and other vital information is allowing first responders to arrive quicker and more safely, make better decisions, and save more lives and property.

To read the full Future of Field Operations study, click here.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/VAKSMANV

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