3 trends driving mobile app adoption in the workplace

  • About ServiceNow
  • Jon Sigler
  • 2022
  • Now Platform
April 04, 2022

Mobile app adoption: man at a desk in front of laptop looking at phone in his hand

The widespread adoption of mobile apps is driving workforce productivity from almost anywhere across nearly every industry.

Workers are relying on mobile technologies more than ever to get their work done every day—from short-staffed nurses who need to update information on the go to field service technicians who need to complete tasks and access critical information in real time to desk workers who need visibility into communications and company resources from anywhere.

At ServiceNow, we’ve seen incredible growth in Now Mobile and Mobile Agent usage over the last two years: a whopping 111% year-over-year increase in users in 2021 and a 412% year-over-year increase in usage.

Overall, deployed mobile customers doubled in 2021. In the next 12 months, 47% of US-based enterprises plan to invest more of their mobility IT budget in mobile application development platforms and tools, as well as mobile application performance monitoring, management, and optimization, according to IDC.1

Mobile usage increased by 412% year over year.

Three key trends are driving growth in mobile adoption right now:

1. New ways of working

The last two years have forever changed the way we work, including where and how we get work done. More than ever, workforces need to be flexible and agile to keep pace with constant change. Mobile apps are a key component helping organizations meet that expectation.

For example, Distell, a global drinks manufacturer and distributor, saw an immediate opportunity to improve communications with its employees via a mobile app when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“We rely heavily on our service portal to update employees with the latest information about safety, work, and well-being initiatives. Mobile access ensures consistent and timely engagement for our employees,” explains Wanda van der Bijl, an HR business analyst at Distell.

“Many of our staff continue to work remotely, and a blended model approach with working from home, as well as in the office, requires employees to reserve a workspace for their days at the office. We are able to safely schedule more than 1,200 employees every week using ServiceNow apps.”

Distell isn’t alone in its use of mobile apps to enable safe, efficient, and productive work experiences. In fact, seven out of the 10 most used Now Mobile apps in 2021 were related to return-to-workplace activities. As offices reopen and organizations navigate the new realities of hybrid work, employees are using mobile apps to find and book desks, submit health attestations, navigate office floor plans, and more.

Frontline workers also rely on mobile apps to get their jobs done. For example, a nurse doing rounds can make a request, enter data, or check the status of a patient—all on a mobile device within the flow of their day-to-day work.

7 out of the 10 most used Now Mobile apps are health reporting and safe workplace-related.

German-based Scheidt & Bachmann provides solutions and maintenance for digital car parking services, such as ticketless entry and exit through license plate scanning, cameras to monitor available parking spaces, QR codes, UHF tags, RFID, and payment cards.

To better support customers, fix issues faster, and drive operational efficiency, Scheidt & Bachmann partnered with ServiceNow to create a single service management tool with a 24/7 customer portal and a mobile app to help engineers order materials and improve communications on the go.

“As we continue to prioritize innovation and great customer experiences for our almost 11,000 worldwide car parks, digital solutions, including mobile access, remain a critical component to our strategy,” says Kai Harperscheidt, head of tools and processes for Scheidt & Bachmann. “Our work with ServiceNow is helping us deliver real, long-term business improvements while also driving customer satisfaction.”

Simply put, purpose-built mobile experiences enable work to flow seamlessly across teams.

2. Consumerization of the workplace

Historically, long times to deployment and a lack of well-designed apps that prioritized the user experience prevented widespread mobile adoption in the enterprise. But as organizations continue to prioritize seamless employee experiences, they understand the need to evolve their technology to mirror the technology employees use in their daily lives.

This means organizations demand simple and intuitive technology experiences. With ServiceNow, companies can quickly configure new mobile experiences that are user-friendly and available to employees faster than ever.

With this goal in mind, we recently announced Next Experience, which delivers a modern, streamlined navigation tool and brings every application together under one consistent experience on our platform. It elevates Favorites and History so people can jump back into their most important work without having to think twice.

Mobile access ensures consistent and timely engagement for our employees. Wanda van der Bijl, HR Business Analyst, Distell

BT, the British communications service provider, also recognized the increasing consumerization of the workplace and knew it needed to adopt a digital-first approach to serving its multinational business customers.

“With ServiceNow, we have been able to provide market-leading new services to customers in response to their changing needs and expectations,” notes Faisal Parvez, product and digital technology director at BT. “We took a truly greenfield approach, with a focus on delivering superior customer experience, commercial flexibility, and security.”

3. Emerging mobile capabilities

The adoption of emerging technologies—such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and low-code tools—has created new use cases for mobile apps in the workplace.

The integration of AI and machine learning capabilities helps companies predict and deliver what employees may need—such as suggesting they book a desk near a co-worker or prompting IT agents to group tasks based on the type of request.

Augmented and virtual reality are also supporting the workforce in new ways. For field service workers, for example, AR can serve as a powerful tool to improve safety and efficiency. With AR, technicians can assess situations virtually, which may help them solve an issue remotely or get a better understanding of what’s needed to fix an issue before they go on site. This can increase the first-time fix rate, contributing to happier customers and minimized truck roll.

Finally, with the growth of low-code tools in the enterprise, organizations can speed up and scale the development and deployment of new apps by empowering employees of all technical skill levels to create mobile apps for the workplace with Mobile App Builder. Simple low-code tools that help employees build their own solutions ensure they can create the exact app they need, giving them the ability to streamline processes.

Find out more about the benefits of the Now Mobile App in the workplace.

1 IDC, The State of Enterprise Mobile Devices in 2021: An IDC Survey of Devices, Decisions, and Deployments, Doc # US48201321, September 2021

© 2022 ServiceNow, Inc. All rights reserved. ServiceNow, the ServiceNow logo, Now, and other ServiceNow marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of ServiceNow, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other company names, product names, and logos may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.


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