The last ten years have been a revolution for those of us in the mobile computing industry. Before smartphones, there was only one game in town. Heavy, rugged, boxy devices running ancient OS’s and very ancient green screens. But my how times have changed!
The lines for where you use a slick consumer device or where you use a rugged device have blurred. To make it even more confusing, the manufacturers of the boxy, rugged devices have embraced Android and made their devices more ergonomic and easy to use.
So what is an enterprise mobile computer user to do?
Well, the good news is that many of your brethren have already tried using consumer devices in enterprise applications with mixed results. If the application is not barcode scan-intensive and if the environment is not very harsh, you might get away with a consumer device. However, there are still some big inconveniences to this choice. Starting with OS updates. They are much more frequent with consumer devices and you may not have a choice of installing them. These can break applications that you are running and shut down your operations. Data security is a big concern for consumer devices, as well as the ability to lock out unwanted applications being accessed by your users. The lifespan of the devices can be a challenge. If you are rolling hardware out over a longer period, you can end up with a mixed bag of devices as they have updated more than once during your roll out.
The more rugged devices typically have a 5-year life cycle with few OS updates if any. You can lock down the device so that users only see the application that they need to access to get their job done. Data Collection options include barcode scanners and RFID readers. Multiple drop to concrete capabilities, three or five-year comprehensive service plans, no need for external cases are but a few of the advantages.
Rugged mobile device manufacturers have also developed a suite of software products to make your devices run more efficiently over the long haul. Going as far as supporting versions of Android well beyond the factory support with patches and updates.
As always, your friends at the EMP Tech Group are here to help you navigate these murky waters. Mobile computing is the heart of our business and we are experts in the field, ready to enable you in a successful mobile computing project.
Contact us and we will come to your site for a free consultation.