Tom Paquin reminds us why service is so important and what IFS’s position as Leader in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management really means.
This is of course no surprise to us here, and even less surprising is that IFS is named a Leader for ability to execute. Gartner’s latest assessment reinforces our belief that when it comes to the one-two punch of the capabilities you need, and the power to execute those capabilities fully, nobody can match IFS.
The report is, as always, not just an assessment of the various vendors in the service industry, but also an overview of the state of the service market today, and what’s clear to me through Gartner’s market assessment is that service is becoming even more vital than it has been to the success, continuity, and growth of businesses in all sorts of different industries.
At IFS we understand this implicitly, which is why we build our solutions with an eye to the service practitioner as well as the IT integrator. This approach allows us to build powerful tools configured to empower your business and help you master complexity, while getting out of your way when it comes to the actual delivery of service. We strive to build systems with the depth to handle the most complex problems, and we believe Gartner’s research validates our capabilities to do so.
So knowing all this, and preparing for the future, what has Gartner identified as major market trends, and how can you prepare your business? Here are three areas noted in the report that we are sure, you should be considering for your business today.
As Gartner writes, “Of 54 respondents, one-third were already offering this model, up from 19%, and 34% indicated that they intend to offer this model within the next 12 to 24 months.” We believe this means that more than half of organizations will be moving towards an outcomes-based service model. This is an obvious move for forward-thinking organizations. By building their business plans around outcomes, rather than selling warranties, you build long-term contracts that extend beyond the lifespan of a given product, and you offer your customers something more valuable than the promise to resolve issues.
Of course, in order to do outcomes-based service right, you need to actually be measuring and managing internal systems, whether it be asset-centric, or in terms of the speed and effectiveness of service delivery. For example, if you promise a 4-hour time from ticket to resolution, you’d better not only know you can do that, but also make sure that doing so is actually profitable. Getting that right naturally benefits from smart optimization.
As Gartner notes, “Although virtually nonexistent for technicians only a short time ago, about two-thirds (64%) of 63 responding reference customers to our latest survey said that they are using or plan to use knowledge management for field service within the next 12 months.”
Knowledge management is no joke, and with an influx of new, inexperienced technicians replacing an aging workforce (my last study had technician turnover hovering around 30% annually) getting it right is the key to successfully managing your business.
What tools you use will depend on your business, but manuals on mobile devices might not be enough. Many organizations are finding great success with augmented reality and remote assistance as a means to quickly upskill technicians by offering them a virtual mentor watching them over their shoulder.
While within the context of our current challenges with COVID, this has taken on a slightly different meaning (and has been mitigated by tools like the AI ones discussed previously), in this instance, we’re discussing the ways in which businesses schedule and manage service visits. Gartner writes, “In 2017, Gartner predicted that, by 2020, 10% of emergency field service work would be both triaged and scheduled by AI, up from less than 1% in 2017. Of the surveyed reference customers this year, which represent a small but often leading portion of the overall market, 23% indicated that they already schedule some work automatically.”
Getting this right starts with a robust customer experience tool, and emanates from asset management as well. Solid IoT systems can dispatch technicians before customers even realize there’s a problem, and chatbots can be calibrated to respond accurately to challenges and recommend the right solutions. There are a great deal of tools that support zero-touch, and it behooves the service professional to choose tools that take the fullest advantage of inputs available today, as well as the openness to handle potential new technologies as they come online.
With these broad-reaching changes impacting the industry, it’s important to build a plan with proven partners that understand your business, and have tools that cater to the way you do service, not force you to cater to them. We believe that Gartner once again named IFS as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for helping you deliver service. For more trends impacting the industry, and the full vendor guide, click here to access the report.
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Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.