I ran across a webpage the other day that showcased 25 years of mobile phone evolution from 1987 to 2012. It was a nostalgic walk down memory lane for me because I actually used one of the brick sized Motorola DynaTacs. It also reminded me of how much technology has changed the way business is done over the last couple of decades.

Technology Changes Improve Performance

The times and technology have certainly changed. Mobility has impacted every part of both our personal and professional lives. For many people the cell phone is a permanent accessory to personal lives and they just can’t image being without one.

Cell phones took a little longer to catch on in the business world. Salespeople were the first real users, as it made sense to be able to communicate with them in the field as well as make them more responsive to leads.

For several years after their introduction, cell phone makers strived to improve their products with smaller devices, longer lasting batteries, additional features and improved signal strength, to name a few. Reliability reached the point where the cell phone became a necessity in order to maintain a competitive edge.

Slowly but surely executives and service techs got into the act. If I remember correctly (it was a long time ago), products and services like Nextel arrived, which allowed instant communication with people in the field. This was a marked change for operations.

Mobile phones development continues and in 2007 the iPhone was introduced. The iPhone along with other smartphones have changed the way we live. It has also changed how business is done. The integration of mobility into the workplace has forced many companies to change their operations in order to stay competitive.

Integrating Mobility into Day-to-Day Business

As business adopted mobility so did the support mechanisms that keep operations going. CMMS is a great example of this. The core of CMMS still schedules, tracks and provides an assortment of reports for asset maintenance, but how that maintenance is being carried out is different now.

The advancement of mobile technology has enabled the development of devices capable of operating in harsh conditions. These rugged devices can now be programmed to perform mobile inspections, rounds and even obtain a proof of presence in every type of facility.

Combined with the ability to complete work orders while in the field, maintenance management efficiencies and effectiveness has reached new heights. With new features and applications being constantly added mobile devices are now an integral part of everyone’s life.

How ready is your CMMS software vendor for the next 5 years

The thing to think about when it comes to integrating mobility into your operations is to make sure that your software vendor is keeping up with technology. Try and stay with a CMMS vendor who has been in business for at least 10 years and is likely to stay in business.

The last headache a business needs is to invest in technology that will become obsolete in 5 years if the software vendor cannot keep up with the times.

What is Next?

I can’t wait to see what the next 25 years brings. Maybe I will be able to have holographic conversations with my children and grandchildren one day. Until then I think we will see countless features and applications added to the current technology. Some will pretty cool and others will be.. well they will …… just be there – lol.

One example I saw recently was the new iPhone5 case that doubles as a bottle opener. I couldn’t stop laughing at first and wonder how long it will be before we see a Swiss Army case?

We hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving. Be sure to check back soon for the latest news in asset and maintenance management.