Preventing Data Loss in the Field Service Industry

The Internet of Things (IoT)—and the growth of digital solutions broadly—have had a significant impact on the creation, distribution, and security of data. Data is now far easier to generate, with a breadth of nuances beyond most of our imaginations.

From the raw data collected to the resulting data produced from analyzing this aggregate information, our reliance on sophisticated analysis—and the awareness it generates—has increased.

Each of these progressions in data generation and data transfer has had unparalleled benefits. But as with most innovations, new technology and opportunity often result in new challenges.

One of these challenges is security. There are manners in which protections against the loss of data have dramatically improved. And, of course, there are now unique issues we must recognize and offer a response.

IoT and the development of digital solutions have a distinctive influence on the relationship of data to field service work. IoT has influenced the equipment and the nature of tasks and training for technicians and management alike. Digital solutions have modified workflows and administrative resources.

Data stands at the center of this technological evolution. And field service management solutions are offering support against the risks of these essential resources

This article examines methods to avoid the devastating effects of data loss on a field service organization. Our approach involves the way innovating your procedures can protect data and key features to keep in mind with the adoption of advanced digital solutions.

Innovating to prevent data loss

Many traditional business operation methods have resulted in unnecessary loss of data and can be remedied with modern solutions. Field service management solutions offer innovative and broad resources for protecting against data loss—the types of losses that result in costly risks to customers and businesses.

Lost forms

The field service industry is heavily reliant on myriad forms—from invoices and billing to scheduling, dispatching, and service. Antiquated paper-based operations have been ineffective and costly. Recording and storing data on paper is vulnerable to even the smallest of errors in the daily process of operations.

By transitioning to a field service management solution, organizations can digitize their data in a way that protects against the losses that are common to paper-based operations. Some of the solutions include real-time data entry, allowing for errors to be remedied quickly, and cloud-based solutions offering reliable and efficient storage of this data.

Data transfer

Traveling to and from the office to transfer necessary data is an inefficiency in labor and time. It is also a common cause of data loss. By equipping technicians in the field with mobile devices, data can be transferred in real-time and securely. Moving in such an efficient way protects against the loss of raw data, but it also functions to protect against the loss of data produced from research.

Analyzing the raw data from operations permits the creation of new data on trends and processes. Ensuring the original information is safeguarded and inputted correctly results in further data loss protection, increasing efficiency, and revenue growth.

Using a viable field service management solution protects data associated with tracking work orders and tasks, customer calls and contracts, parts and inventory, technician capacity and specialization, and various other data points specific to an organization.

Protecting against the loss of digital data

The benefits of transitioning to digital data with field service management solutions, outlined above, are substantial, but they do present unique and critical challenges. Not all field service solutions are created equal. From mobile devices to cloud-based storage, it is essential to find solutions that take a thorough and detailed security approach and prevent data loss.

Cloud-based solutions

The advent of cloud-based solutions is an extraordinary resource for field service organizations, but the risks involved must be a priority. It is critical to recognize that not all mobile field service solutions perform at the same level. Too many underperforming field service solutions do not place enough emphasis on cloud-based security. Failure to encrypt and protect data storage and transfer leads to vulnerabilities and losses through theft, cyberattack, and leaks. These are losses that have been devastating to many field service organizations. A solution is to discover a mobile field service solution with a proven and verifiable data security commitment.

It’s also vital to find a solution that respects data backup. Backing up data should occur regularly to avoid even the smallest data losses. Find a solution that respects the opportunity and risks of cloud-based services through dynamic encryption, efficient patching, regular system updates, and other exhaustive security practices.

Mobile devices

Implementing mobile devices has a specialized relationship with the remote nature of work in the field service industry. There is little risk in saying such technology has revolutionized workflows and efficiency. But as we have mentioned, every innovation involves changes to risk factors. Data must be especially guarded when it comes to mobile devices, and not all field service solutions provide the necessary foundation for security.

Low-cost software options too often do not provide the solutions necessary to protect the applications that empower mobile devices. Using faulty or inferior applications on mobile devices can result in unintentional loss of private financial data or critical data about your customers and business.

The physical devices also need to be safeguarded. Your mobile field service solution should involve strong user authentication. Minimum password lengths and character requirements are basic security of applications using cloud-based software. More advanced security measures utilize multifactor authentication and single sign-on features—such as fingerprint scans or temporary text codes. Each of these steps will add extra layers of security and prevent the loss of data that is critical to avoiding the risks that impact revenue and efficiency.

Employee training

Employees that lack necessary technical training can also lead to data loss. Typical data loss trends involve employees inadvertently downloading malware or accidentally exposing critical business information. Other trends include leaking passwords or access codes and numerous different scenarios. A well-functioning mobile field service solution will provide safeguards to these data breaches and losses while offering accessible solutions for employee training.

Partnerships and integration

Protecting against security risks and data loss with your mobile field service solution also hinges on effective and experienced partnerships and integration with current systems. A quality solution seeks partnerships with proven experts that provide polished and skilled services that protect your data.

Partners such as Microsoft Dynamics and Sage Intacct can seamlessly interact and integrate with your mobile field service solution. Your mobile solution can also extend other services’ native functionality, like Vista Service Management and Spectrum Work Order modules. Creating partnerships with these skilled and renowned organizations is critical in responding to security risks and potential data loss.

Further Resources

A leader in the field service industry for nearly two decades, FieldConnect has been developed with data security as a central priority.

With a diverse suite of products, FieldConnet’s solutions offer the highest quality in innovation and protection. Secure and efficient cloud-based resources are coupled with the finest partnerships in the industry. This multifaceted approach ensures that their support will meet the ongoing and changing risks associated with protection against the loss of your essential data.

Schedule a demo with FieldConnect to begin learning how your mobile field service solutions can be identified and implemented. We will help your organization achieve its business goals, retain employees and customers—and grow your revenue.