Mobile transformation is taking place in every industry, with more businesses and organizations deploying more mobile devices in the field than ever before. This makes sense too, considering the numerous productivity and efficiency benefits these devices provide, not to mention the remote working capabilities they enable. As with any change, however, the introduction of this technology comes with additional challenges in the management, monitoring, and upkeep of these devices. Challenges which are made more difficult to manage when the global pandemic is considered, especially since there are limitations on face-to-face contact, making it tough for IT managers to deliver in-person support.
Luckily, a number of purpose-developed solutions exist for the sole management of remote devices. Known as mobile device management, or MDM, the solution enables IT managers to track, monitor, access, and maintain remote mobile devices from one central location. Further, solutions like AirDroid Business enable a number of workarounds to otherwise expensive solutions, and one particular feature with the potential to deliver many benefits is geofencing.
Geofencing utilizes location-based technology to enable businesses to monitor and track a device’s location, automate tasks, and receive notification alerts on movements. Organizations that use vehicles or other valuable assets in the field can use geofencing and its associated tracking data and workflows to enhance security and optimize operational efficiency. In practice, this means that for a logistics company, regular routes and most-used paths can be tracked, the data viewed and analyzed, and from that analysis, more optimal routes can be determined. Further, geofencing allows businesses to set up virtual fencing zones, so in the same context—logistics– drivers can be given pre-determined zones in which they can operate. If they leave these zones, the business leaders and IT personnel will be notified immediately and can act accordingly, in real-time.
But what are the uses for a geofencing solution outside of the more obvious applications, like logistics? Geofencing (and MDM) have a number of applications outside of the transport industry, with the technology being beneficial to a range of industries like medical and health institutions, public agencies, corporations, food companies, and more. Let’s explore in more detail.
Medical and Healthcare
Thanks to its dedicated tracking capabilities, geofencing is beneficial to the medical and healthcare industry in a variety of ways. In the context of COVID-19, the capability means that institutions can track patients who are supposed to be under quarantine through the creation of a virtual “safe zone” which is confined to a patients’ home and tracked through a device, like a smartwatch. If the patient leaves the “safe zone” the healthcare institution will receive an alert and can then reach out to the patient to follow up and remind them of the importance of quarantining to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Further, geofencing can help healthcare institutions in tracking important or restricted packages, like when a hospital is providing a different institution with healthcare supplies, or is transporting organs. This is because a virtual zone can be established where, if the transport driver leaves, the institution will receive a notification, and through additional device tracking capabilities, see where the device and driver is in real time. From there, the organization can contact the driver to check in, or, in the off chance that the driver has gone rogue, contact the authorities to intervene.
Whether it’s private customer information, HR and payroll information, or sensitive and restricted contract and businesses information, many corporate organizations operate with at least some form of sensitive data. Geofencing can help keep that sensitive data safe through automated workflows which can be customized so that when a staff member, or just their device, leaves a defined safe zone, a notification is sent and a workflow will be triggered to lock down the device or start a factory reset. This gives businesses more control over their sensitive data, where it is physically, and who can access it.
Because there are a number of risks in terms of contamination, spoilage, and overall food safety, timing is everything when it comes to working with food. Geofencing can help food businesses optimize their transportation and operational practices through a combination of safe-zones, path optimization, and log management. This enables food businesses to analyze point of time, device activity, device status, and any other significant events to identify areas for improvement and optimization, and to keep track of any abnormal activities, which means that food can be delivered as quickly, efficiently, and safely as possible.
While these are some of the more obvious applications for the technology, geofencing is only limited to the users’ imagination. Any situation where goods, people, or information need to be tracked or protected will benefit from the implementation of geofencing technology. Further to this, by selecting an MDM solution like AirDroid Business with other features outside of geofencing, such as remote access or kiosk mode which enables devices to be locked down into only certain functions, businesses can navigate the pandemic – and all of its associated device management and remote working challenges – with relative ease.