Why Your Mobile Application Management Strategy Needs to Account for Signal Loss
Enterprise mobility, particularly in the branch of mobile device management, has had a tremendous impact on the way that field-based operations are performed. From shipping and transport to manufacturing and healthcare, many industries that have catapulted into unprecedented levels of operational efficiency. But that’s not to say that there haven’t been pitfalls or dead ends along the way. Any new paradigm in how business is done will take time to refine. If you disagree go to YouTube and watch videos of early attempts at airplanes crashing and failing hilariously. Remember that today, it is now the safest and fastest way to travel. Innovation is a journey, not a destination!
Plan For Signal Loss
One area in mobile application management is having an efficient backup plan for when an employee faces signal loss or disconnection. Suddenly, the advantages of a mobile-empowered workforce have disappeared—unless you have a plan to handle these signal blackouts.
The first step towards successful disconnected operations is for the application to store and cache operational data as it becomes available for later use. It is not ideal to have your employee in the field to connect to the internet every time they want to double check information. By caching this data, it will still be available no matter whether the device has connectivity or not. However, updates and modifications will not be available until a connection occurs again.
Proper App Design
Along with caching data, it’s important for mobile device management to be able to queue server updates from device to server, and vice versa. This is particularly important on the mobile end, where the progress of a shipment will need updating. By updating it manually later, you lose both time and accuracy. The data once recorded is then queued to be transmitted to the server as the signal becomes available again. The information is then able to be accurately put in the proper databases as soon as possible. This can save time for technicians that need to modify the specific details of a work order in the field.
Any mobile application with offline functionality should have a system for notifying field employees on their connection status. It’s essential that any employee should never need to assume that they are working with a reliable connection only to discover that they aren’t.