It’s hard to believe that 2020 is right around the corner. Two decades of living in the post-millennium and field service management are seeing tremendous growth. Software solutions, work order management systems and mobile field service apps are all the rage in today’s service environment. But the questions turn to, what does 2020 have in store for the field service industry? What is going to become the next trend to sweep through field service management and be the thing every business needs to have. And more importantly, how much growth with the industry actually see.

Great field service management companies are already looking at 2020 and beyond. There is plenty to discuss about the future of the industry. Whether you work in HVAC, fire and life, facilities maintenance, IT Support, oil and gas or service industrial equipment, you need to be prepared for what the future brings. Here are some predictions to keep your eye on for 2020.

Field Service Management Market to be Worth $4.45 Billion

It seems like the field service management market doesn’t slow down. In 2019, the industry had a value of $2.9 billion. It’s growing so fast due to the rate in which organizations are maximizing efficiency efforts. As well, it’s growing because of the continued deployment of work order management systems, field service software and mobile field service apps. And there is little sign it is slowing down, as the industry should reach $5.9 billion by 2024. That means there is plenty of opportunity for growth if companies are willing to work for it.

Growth in the industry and field service management software go hand-in-hand. As leaders in the industry try to find more ways to be efficient, they are turning to software solutions to automate as much of the process as they can.

Mobile Field Service Apps will be used by 75% of Organizations

Mobility is the name of the game in field service management. If you are looking for a field service software, you have to look for one that has a mobile app component to it. Without it, it’s not providing the automation and efficiency you need. Mobile field service apps do everything for a technician. It helps them get to the next service call with routing tools. All of their work orders on put on the mobile for easy access. It’s how the complete checklists and other documents. And it is how technicians are having greater access to service history and other information to help them complete calls faster.

Mobile field service apps have become such an important part of field service management. 80% of field service management organizations say mobile field service apps are required to improve efficiency and speed up personnel. And 44% say it is needed to complete against the pressures of the industry. And 41% say it is required to deal with the increase in the volume of service requests. Paper-based work orders are a thing of the past. A connected and mobile work order management system is needed in today’s environment.

IoT Will Out Number Humans

By 2020, it’s predicted that 26 times as many connections will be made between things, than humans in the world. With the rise of things such as the Internet of Things (IoT), connected equipment has become the norm. Machine to machine learning is how field service management teams are coping with the stresses of the increased volume of service calls. With mobile devices being a large portion of that, it’s no surprise why mobile field service apps are a huge part of field service management.

These connected devices are also a reason the industry is moving from preventative maintenance into predictive maintenance. No longer is it good enough to provide service to hopefully prevent downtown. Now, field service management is about ensuring there is no downtime. Connected devices through IoT is sending signals back to field service software when equipment isn’t working properly. Work order management systems automatically produce work orders and service calls are dispatched to fix the problem before it occurs. Or, remote assistance is now being looked at as the next way of solving problems. Customers are taking on repairs with remote assistance from skilled technicians. But it’s all led by IoT and the massive world of connections that are now being made.

AI will Monitor 10% of All Field Service Work

Artificial Intelligence is making service management smarter. AI is becoming responsible for scheduling decisions, automation and is growing application for work order management systems. By 2020, it’s predicted that 10% of all field service work will be monitored by some form of AI. That means a machine will be watching a machine to ensure it is working at it’s set calibrations. In this case, working with IoT, AI will help fill the gap in the workforce that technicians aren’t able to fulfill.

AI is being used for everything. From scheduling to work orders to lifecycle management and customer communications. The result is a smoother and more seamless workflow, better accuracy and optimal customer experience. Data collection and analysis is also a function that AI has had a large effect on. Information is being shared between the equipment and that data is being processed at a fast speed by AI. Route optimization is being completed by AI tools to reduce driving times. It’s literally about working smarter and not harder in field service management.

What Will 2021 Look Like?

The future is bright for field service management. What will it be in 2010? The answer is probably similar to these predictions, except mobile field service apps will be used even more. IoT and AI will be the talk of field service management tradeshows, and a connected world will make the lives of technicians easier. Growth is happening in the field service management space and work order management systems are leading the charge. If you haven’t yet decided to optimize your service delivery with a work order management system and mobile field service apps, 2020 might be the year to finally deploy such a system. Which means you better start looking now before the turn of the new year.