New Research on BYOD in Field Service

In 2015, Capterra surveyed 100 service businesses of all shapes and sizes to find out how they were using mobile devices in the field.

Published by Andrew Marder, June 8 2015

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Field service is a mobile industry. People go out into the field, they step away from desks and into client sites, and they bring their tools with them to solve location based problems. It's no surprise that mobile technology is one of the biggest issues in field service.

With field service management software providers rushing to add features, companies are finding it easier than ever to integrate mobile technology into their workflows. Capterra surveyed 100 field service professionals about their mobile usage to get a better understanding of the industry. Here's what we found.

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Key Takeaways

  1. 77% of respondents bring their own device (BYOD) for work.
  2. Only 14% of companies provide a device to employees.
  3. Only 19% of companies use a custom mobile app, the rest likely use off-the-shelf or no apps.

The domination of bring your own device

The bring your own device craze is real. Of the professionals we surveyed, a full 77% of them said that they bring their own mobile device into the field. 77% of service techs use their own device in the field. Tweet This With software providers giving users apps for iOS and Android environments – a few even support the Window Phone – there's almost no barrier to personal mobile use.

Mobile device types used in field service

Provider of devices used in the field.

As 69% of the companies we surveyed had fewer than 50 employees, the added paperwork associated with BYOD was less of a factor. Only six of these smaller respondents used devices provided by employers.

Companies unlikely to provide devices to employees

Only 14% were given a device by their employers. Considering that employer-owned devices used to be the norm, that 14% looks even more anemic.

More surprisingly, only a handful – just 5% of respondents – said they are given a range of devices to choose from. The choose-your-own-device movement has gained some ground, but there is still a long way for it to go.

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Custom mobile apps are not required

While mobile devices in the field are now commonplace, companies are still relying on out of the box solutions for their mobile app needs. Just 19% of respondents said their companies have designed custom mobile apps.

Only 19% of service businesses use a custom app in the field. Tweet This

Mobile use in field service: Companies with custom mobile apps

Does your company have a custom app?

This may seem low, at first glance, but as Capterra found in our larger field service survey, field service software vendors are rushing to add functionality to their packages. As more and more options become available, the need for custom software shrinks.


The small percentage of employers providing choose your own device options is a little surprising. With so much research showing that employees don't care about protecting company data held on their own devices, more businesses have at least considered taking matters into their own hands. Choose your own device has been seen as a productive answer to the data security problem.

About the Author

Andrew Marder

Andrew Marder

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Andrew is a content writer with Capterra. In previous lives, he has been a financial writer, project manager, and banker. He picked up his BA from SUNY Potsdam and his MA from Virginia Tech. He loves his wife and kid. Follow him on Twitter @CapterraFSM.