Mobile Technology Now a Top Investment Priority for CIOs

When it comes to top investment concerns for CIOs, disaster recovery, operational expenses and security all rank very high. But there is a new factor that has worked its way to the top of the list, and it has to do with how employees are staying connected at work.

Mobile technology has become a top priority for manufacturing executives in 2013. A growing reliance on cloud-based storage is allowing organizations to re-allocate the money that they typically spend on IT equipment and maintenance. It is being re-distributed to provide smartphones and tablets across all areas of the organization—from plant floors to executive board rooms.

While mobile technology has typically been used by employees to stay in contact with overhead supervisors as well as each other, these devices can do much more than facilitate verbal communication. In manufacturing facilities, for example, these devices can link directly to statistical process control (SPC) software such as ProFicient by InfinityQS. Employees are starting to use smartphones and tablets to access and evaluate real-time data, execute manufacturing orders and receive instructions in a timely fashion.

This movement represents a dramatic departure from paper and pencil based communication. The benefits of embracing digital communication can be seen in the amount of money that is saved, the speed in which business is accomplished and the ability to access data from anywhere, at any time.

All signs point to the fact that the trend is not only continuing—it is thriving. According to Jason Lee, Toughbook marketing manager at Panasonic Australia, there were 2.4 million tablets sold last year alone.

"While that figure includes consumers and industry, what works in consumerland almost always carries over to industry. We expect the industrial tablet market to grow 20% or more this year alone," Lee stated.

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