FeedHenry recently released a whitepaper in collaboration with VDC, examining the use of mobile apps in the transportation sector. The findings underscore not only a trend in using mobile solutions to reduce operational costs and improve worker productivity, but also highlight the role they play in improved customer engagement and brand loyalty. Mobility is nothing new to this industry sector. However, the potential for innovation and transformation that can be gained from coupling smart device features with real-time transportation information cannot be ignored. Although the industry relies significantly on proprietary IT systems that were not conceived to be mobilized, the adoption of cloud computing and the emergence of new software tools liberates backend data to the mobile device - securely and easily.
An interesting finding is the extent to which the transportation sector is taking a more long-term, strategic view in the adoption of mobile technology as an integral part of operations. When asked which metrics were the most important to measure the benefits of mobile solutions, reduced operational costs and mobile worker productivity topped the list followed closely by "competitive differentiation and advantage":
The increased recognition of mobility as a driver of competitive differentiation speaks to a greater focus beyond here-and-now operational considerations and demonstrates a less opportunistic approach to mobility in favor of a longer term, holistic mobility strategy.
Overcoming legacy barriers
VDC research revealed that many transportation organizations have been delaying the modernization of aging IT systems and applications due to upfront capital costs, as well as maintenance and support. Until these legacy systems are superseded, companies need to look for ways to unleash the data and make it securely available to mobile devices. VDC believes that next generation mobile app platforms that use the cloud as a data abstraction layer can help to overcome these technical barriers and that organizations with a strong mobile mindset will benefit by using these platforms to create nimbler and more user-friendly applications that improve operational efficiency.
… with custom-developed applications as the key
Cloud-enabled solutions are helping organizations to move beyond traditional on-premise software licensing. Currently, 30% of respondents within the transportation sector stated that they were developing their own applications internally – a proportion that VDC believes will only increase as the use of the cloud to connect mobile applications to backend systems will help to drastically reduce development time and costs.
To join FeedHenry's upcoming webinar on March 13th, 2014 presenting the challenges and a case study from a rail infrastructure provider, please register here.
 For the purpose of this Transportation covers Travel, Transport and Logistics