Mobile technology key to business performance says Zebra study.

Mobile technology key to business performance says Zebra study.

Mobile technology key to business performance says Zebra study.

Zebra Technologies Corporation, an innovator at the edge of the enterprise with solutions and partners that enable businesses to gain a performance edge, has announced the results of its latest Asia-Pacific vision study on the Future of Field Operations, which reveals mobile technology investment to be a growing priority for up to 60 percent of Asia-Pacific organisations. The findings indicate that investments will be made in disruptive technologies and enterprise mobile devices to enhance front-line worker productivity and customer satisfaction in field operations including fleet management, field services, proof of delivery and direct store delivery workflows.

“Driven by the acceleration of e-commerce along with customer’s heightened expectations and more focus within companies on differentiating service levels, the field operations industry is rapidly adopting the way it looks at its mobile technology investments,” said Tan Aik Jin, APAC Vertical Solutions Lead, Manufacturing and Transportation & Logistics, Zebra Technologies. “Our study shows how growing challenges related to the on-demand economy drive organisations to adopt transformative, disruptive technologies such as augmented reality and intelligent labels to provide visibility and integrate business intelligence for a performance edge.”

“Based on our study, the top three trends that are driving changes for field operations across Asia-Pacific include, growing expectations of performance and convenience from end customers, the replacement of paper in the field by mobile technology, and the disruptions to field operations caused by emerging technologies and faster networks,” said Lim Fang How, Regional Director for Southeast Asia, Zebra Technologies. “In Asia-Pacific, more than half of the organisations have a mobile-first mindset when it comes to adopting enterprise-wide mobile and emerging technologies. And these forward-thinking organisations are setting their field operations apart with three key strategies; the scaling of mobile technology and support technologies enterprise-wide, evaluating the total cost of ownership of mobile technology as a standard practice, and utilising emerging field operations technologies more extensively to achieve a competitive edge.” 


Equipping front-line workers with enterprise mobile devices remains a priority to stay competitive.

  • In Asia-Pacific, up to 44 per cent of the organisations view mobility investment as a top priority.
  • 58 per cent of Asia-Pacific organisations is expanding mobile technology to enterprise-wide use – reaching 97 per cent by 2023.
  • From 2018 to 2023, the use of handheld mobile computers with built-in barcode scanners in Asia-Pacific is forecasted to grow by 41 per cent, mobile printers by 60 per cent and rugged tablets by 57 per cent. The higher levels of inventory, shipment and asset accuracy provided by using these devices are expected to increase business revenues.

Tertiary concerns and post-sale factors are important for organisations when evaluating front-line worker enterprise mobile devices.

  • Mobile-first organisations in Asia-Pacific are conducting total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis prior to major capital expenditure on mobile technology up to 83 per cent of the time.
  • Only 34 per cent of the survey respondents believe that consumer smartphones have better TCO than rugged devices.

Emerging technologies and faster networks are disrupting field operations.

  • Mobile-first organisations in Asia-Pacific tend to be early adopters of emerging efficiency-boosting field operations technologies.
  • Mobile-first organisations in Asia-Pacific are expected to: 
    • Implement the use of sensors, radio frequency identification (RFID) and intelligent labels from 76 per cent to 98 per cent from end 2018 till 2023.
    • Make greater use of augmented reality applications from 68 per cent to 95 per cent from end 2018 till 2023, which can make detail-oriented workflows such as merchandising much more efficient.
    • Have greater use of blockchain from 68 per cent to 96 per cent from end 2018 till 2023 to track goods’ chains of custody or document service by multiple partnering firms.


  • Asia-Pacific: 44 per cent of respondents consider truck loading automation will be among one of the most disruptive technologies, compared respectively to 28 per cent globally.
  • Europe, Middle East and Africa: 70 per cent of respondents agree e-commerce is driving the need for faster field operations.
  • Latin America: 83 per cent agree that faster wireless networks (4G/5G) are driving greater investment in new field operations technologies, compared with 70 per cent of the global sample.
  • North America: 36 per cent of respondents plan to implement rugged tablets in the next year.


  • The Future of Field Operations Vision study reports why mobile technology investment is a top priority for organisations, with over half planning investments to keep pace with more proactive, customer-centric, business-driven systems.
  • The online survey interviewed 2,075 mobility decision-makers from 20 countries across the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, China, India, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.