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Industry Specific Insights

How Software Can Improve the Lives of the Deskless Workforce

Ryan Chan

80% of the global workforce doesn’t sit at a desk, but until recently they have been overlooked by technology providers. As technology systems, especially technology for businesses, become more numerous and more sophisticated, these deskless workers are left further and further behind. Providers are not at fault, by any means, but the deskless workforce are in need of more technologies designed for their specific set of needs.

What is the deskless workforce?

The deskless workforce is the vast majority of the working world whose jobs don’t require them to sit at a desk. It consists of 2.7 billion people in all industries from agriculture to healthcare to restaurants. Of the $300 billion business technology market, only $3 billion is directed towards the deskless. That’s just 1% of total software venture! This means that there is more room for spending across economies, but first they need is more investment in deskless technology. These workers are truly mobile while they work, and thus have an entirely different idea of how software can benefit them than the mainstream, desk-based user. The global digital transformation has long since begun and up until this point, deskless workers have been extremely neglected. The tides are starting to turn – more and more technologies are being customized to include the deskless workforce and give them adequate software to do their jobs.

How software is making a positive impact on the deskless workforce

The foundation for deskless software is already in place – a network of sophisticated, interconnected and mobile devices from which applications can be deployed. These devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are powerful and programmable, making them the perfect platform to serve deskless workers.

This unique workforce seeks mobility, efficiency, and ease of use in software that are tailored to their working style. With the massive availability of wifi and 4G, cloud-based software is one of the perfect solutions.

This group also seeks engagement. In a study of 1000 people, just 56% reported feeling connected to and engaged by their employers. Since these employees are out in their respective fields the majority of their time, it is not surprising that they feel disconnected. They are fragmented and isolated and craving new ways to communicate and collaborate.

Tip: Engage your workforce beyond software programs through scheduled 1-1’s, acts of appreciation, and a positive work culture.

Employers and software developers should take note. As technology becomes central to the majority of industries, the gap where it is missing becomes even more apparent. If this digital transformation is the path we as a global community are on, 80% of the workforce cannot be left behind.

UpKeep is proud to address all of these fundamental features for a software tailored to the deskless workforce. Our mission is to empower maintenance teams to revolutionize their businesses, and we believe a mobile, intuitive solution designed specifically for the end user is the catalyst.

Why should we invest in the deskless workforce?

Moving forward, we will and we must invest in the deskless workforce. They reach far and wide because of their sheer magnitude as 80% of the globe’s workers. Deskless workers are in literally every industry in every country in the world. Many of these industries are considered to be lagging technologically, but that’s even more of a reason to create new software to support 2.7 billion workers. The key here will be not only ease of use, but also ease of adoption to ensure that solutions last.

Further, the benefits of deskless technology include their impact internally on a company and its employees. According to a study by Emergence Capital, the leading reason for companies to invest is productivity, followed by employee happiness. Increased employee productivity levels directly correlated to profit generated by their respective companies. Not only that, but improved employee experience will lead to higher retention rates. Higher retention rates will add additional value to a company by boosting recruiting efforts because high retention rates show prospects that people like the culture that comes with working for the company. The complete list of benefits from investing in deskless technology is as follows:, deskless workforce, emergence capital, upkeep, investing, productivity, maintenance management, maintenance software, maintenance,



It is clear that investment in programs for the deskless will increase throughout the years to come. One caveat to deskless software for businesses is the strange purchasing dynamic that sometimes accompanies it. Buying decisions are still largely top down, meaning that they often come from executives or mid-level managers. These purchasers are not actually the end users, so it is more important than ever that employees and their employers are aligned. If those lines of communication are not open, investments in deskless technology could fail.

Tip: Organize a buying group of 4-6 decision makers, including at least one end-user.

Nevertheless, the value of deskless software for the immense deskless workforce is indisputable and the shifting landscape is exciting. There is so much potential to unleash!

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