Only 20% of enterprises have visibility into the performance of mobile solutions used by their mobile workforce, uncovering a lack of battery management among enterprises, according to a study conducted by VDC Research, Natick, Mass.

Sponsored by Global Technology Systems (GTS), Framingham, Mass., this study surveyed 200 enterprise mobility decision makers, both business and IT leaders, within retail organizations representing a total of 71,000 stores.

With mid-shift battery failure, which occurs at least 30% of the time according to the survey, workers lose 50 minutes of productivity. Enterprises in retail and logistics with 500 or more mobile workers can suffer lack of productivity and service losses.

“With more than 50% of the workforce mobile – representing 1.7 billion workers – mobile solutions are no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity,” says David Krebs, executive vice president, enterprise mobility and connected devices at VDC Research. “The interconnection between mobile solutions and workflow is what we refer to as business-critical mobility, which depends on reliable access to provide real-time critical information at points of interaction with customers and employees. All of this relies on batteries.”

Additional key research findings include:

  • 80% of mobile device total cost of ownership comes after the initial purchase, and replacement batteries are a significant portion of this cost.
  • Since battery performance is a good indicator of other problems, 89% of survey respondents would consider a battery subscription plan that provides testing, removal, replacement and recycling of bad batteries.
  • 40% of decision-makers consider battery life to be a leading mobile device selection criterion, third on the list after price and quality/reliability.

“More and more companies are adopting digital and mobile technologies to improve retail services and optimize customer experiences in order to increase share of wallet and greater profitability,” says Larry Murray, chief executive officer of GTS. “But, what they fail to consider is how to maintain their business-critical mobile devices. Without proper battery management, enterprises just can’t fully capitalize on their significant investments in enterprise mobility solutions.”