Zebra Study: Number of Field Service Providers Operating Predictively Will Double by 2025

 Faster mobile networks will also give rise to mobile technology adoption in the field

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – Mar. 3, 2020 – Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), an innovator at the edge of the enterprise with solutions and partners that enable businesses to gain a performance edge, today announced study findings that reveal field service providers in the telecommunications and technical industries globally will increase the use of mobile technologies to optimize and transform workflows in the field.

The number of organizations that will implement predictive solutions as part of their mobile strategies is set to double in five years, according to respondents to Zebra’s three-part Future of Field Operations vision study on the telecommunications, manufacturing, construction, mining, and agriculture industries. Today, just 16 percent of organizations use predictive solutions to assign the right resource to the right task at the right time with the use of mobile devices, and this will jump to 32 percent by 2025.

“With increased focus on streamlining workflows and getting tasks done right the first time, service providers in the telecommunications and technical industries are increasingly equipping their front-line workers with mobile technologies such as rugged tablets, mobile printers and handheld mobile computers,” said Alex Cooper, Director of Government and Critical Field Service Strategy, Zebra Technologies. “Faster mobile connectivity, combined with purpose-built rugged devices and advanced applications, will enable enterprises to keep essential services uninterrupted, safe, and efficient.”

In the study, 76 percent of respondents from service providers say their field operation strategies now focus on mobile devices instead of desktops, especially with 86 percent agreeing that the availability of faster 4G and 5G networks will drive greater investments in new field operations technologies. The use of mobile devices will quickly boost productivity with 87 percent in the study indicating that they expect to see positive impact within the next year.

While the study indicates email (62 percent), real-time database access (60 percent) and dispatch management (57 percent) are ranked as today’s three most important applications, about nine in ten service providers plan to expand their use of remote monitoring and reporting as well as advanced analytics and machine learning as part of their mobile strategies over the next five years.

To empower front-line workers at the edge of the business to become more productive, increase their job satisfaction, and ultimately improve customer service, field service providers are increasing their investments in mobile devices. Today, only 28 percent of companies equip more than half of their field teams with mobile technologies. Respondents project this will grow to 44 percent by 2025.

Meanwhile, reliability of devices in the field is a high priority as purpose-built rugged mobile smartphones rank as today’s most preferred device option for field service providers. By 2025, 93 percent of companies will use both rugged mobile tablets and rugged smartphones.


  • Zebra’s study indicates the use of predictive solutions by telecommunications and technical industries will double from 16 percent today to 32 percent in 2025.
  • The increased availability of faster 4G and 5G mobile networks will drive investments in new field operations technologies, according to 87 percent of study respondents.
  • Approximately nine in ten service providers plan to expand their use of remote monitoring and reporting as well as analytics and machine learning over the next five years.
  • Rugged mobile devices will be the most prevalent type of enterprise device for field service providers globally, with 93 percent adopting rugged tablets and rugged smartphones by 2025.



The results are part of a three-part series on the Future of Field Operations released over the first half of 2020. The first part on the energy and utilities sector was released in January, and the upcoming third installment in this series will focus on public safety. More than 1,200 key decision makers from these three industries located across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific were surveyed.



Zebra (NASDAQ: ZBRA) empowers the front line of business in retail/ecommerce, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare, public sector and other industries to achieve a performance edge. With more than 10,000 partners across 100 countries, we deliver industry-tailored, end-to-end solutions that intelligently connect people, assets and data to help our customers make business-critical decisions. Our market-leading solutions elevate the shopping experience, track and manage inventory as well as improve supply chain efficiency and patient care.  In 2019, Zebra ranked #166 on Forbes’ list of the World’s Best Employers, and the company joined the S&P 500 Index. For more information, visit  www.zebra.com or sign up for our news alerts. Follow us on our Your Edge Blog along with LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook

Media Contact:  

Valerie Berrivin
Zebra Technologies
Phone: +33 607 956 184

Industry Analyst Contact:  

Kasia Fahmy 
Zebra Technologies 

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