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Mobile devices, RFID readers, inventory containers, fleet vehicles, maintenance equipment, and of course, your business’s products themselves. What do these all have in common? They are all great examples of your assets—and if you don’t keep a careful eye on how these assets move, you could find yourself facing all kinds of problems from blockages in efficiency to lost and misplaced assets. This is where the field of enterprise asset management comes into play, a field which is constantly evolving to extend your reach when it comes to visibility and awareness within your business. The growing craft that is mobile app development is also contributing to this trend by taking that visibility and mobilizing it, putting valuable insights about your company in your hand at any time, anywhere. Here are some of the ways in which asset management is continuing to grow:
Hardware as a Service (HaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) are two models for acquiring IT-related services that have changed the way that a business can build its infrastructure. These are scalable models in which you pay for the services and products which you use under a single price plan. For example, an enterprise asset management HaaS solution for a logistics and transportation firm might include RFID and barcode readers, tablet computers with a suite of specially-designed apps which can update the cloud-based servers with accurate and up-to-date information, and always-available help desk service from the service vendor.
Instead of spending a large chunk of capital up front to set up physical servers, routers, and more—which will need to be serviced, maintained, replaced, upgraded, and more over time—wouldn’t it be great if you could just use the internet? Then you could access important information from any computer or web-capable device. Thanks to mobile app development, you could even use a special native app optimized for exactly that purpose. This is the realm of possibilities that cloud computing grants you access to. Many of the aforementioned SaaS and HaaS methods take advantage of this technology, which is similarly scalable and a profitable alternative to traditional servers.
Let’s use shipping and logistics as an example again—many businesses in these industries employ independent contractors so that they can scale the size of their workforce proportionately to the volume of their demand. In such a case, using a fleet of corporate-owned devices would be inefficient when custom mobile app development and a BYOD policy to contracting work create a contractor-ready asset tracking system by taking advantage of the widespread ownership of powerful consumer mobile devices and the ease of use of a custom mobile app. Contractors can provide automatic updates in the field through the app, updating your own cloud-based servers in the process, making enterprise asset management a breeze.