Finding the right mobile device for your business isn’t easy. From various models and suppliers, to countless configurations and operating systems, the options are nearly endless, yet few can actually meet all of your needs. Even if a device works well for one area of your business, how do you know if it will also successfully support another area?
With the right solution, you stand to gain improvements in productivity, efficiency and service. However, selecting the wrong technology – based on either incomplete or incorrect information – can result in a failure to realize your full return on investment.
We understand that both consumer and enterprise-grade devices have a place within the business realm. But in order to select the one that’s right for you, we believe you first need to understand each option. That’s why we compiled the following list of the ten most important factors you should consider before making an investment. By evaluating how different devices and deployment strategies meet each of the criteria, you’ll be able to move forward confidently and select the right solution.
10 CRITICAL STEPS TO CONSIDER
1 APPLICATION & ENVIRONMENT DEMANDS
Can your device survive the inevitable? In a line-of-business environment, you need something that won’t fail in the face of drops, spills, extreme temperatures, or dust and dirt. You should also take into account whether users of the devices will be wearing gloves, if the device will be used in direct sunlight and whether the device needs to be disinfectant ready.
2 DATA CAPTURE REQUIREMENTS
How often will your device need to double as a scanner? Assess whether your application requires scanning only a few bar codes per day or if it’s more scan-intensive. Are speed and accuracy necessary to get the job done? Determine if you will need signature capture and credit card payment capabilities.
3 POWER NEEDS
Will your device be in continuous use all day or even over several shifts? Are your workers always on the move? Will they be unable to access a charging solution for long periods of time? Remember, power management goes beyond having a high-capacity battery that can last a single shift, or even being able to swap out a battery in the middle of a shift.
4 TRAINING AND EASE OF USE
Will your workers effectively adopt their new device or will your deployment be prone to workarounds and noncompliance? Operating system familiarity is a big item to consider here, as are the demographics of your workforce and their preference for touch screen or keyed input. However, the ergonomics of the workflow and the “ease of use” for the task at hand should have just as much impact on the form factor selected as any perceived “cool” factor. Be sure to consider how the device you choose will help or hinder your workers’ completion of everyday tasks.
5 SECURITY REQUIREMENTS
What are the risks and implications of a potential security breach stemming from your mobility deployment? While security may have started with a narrow focus around credit cards or personal health information, it now has a much broader scope – any information about your customers and operations is now of value to those with nefarious intent. Securing a mobility deployment is a multi-faceted effort: from MDM selection and configuration; to policy definition, enforcement and training; and ultimately, to the capabilities of the device you select.
6 CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS AND QUALITY
Does your device have the power and features required to maintain connectivity and high-quality application performance? When workers need to be able to access job-related data or back-end systems on the move, robust WAN/WLAN connections and seamless roaming can make all the difference. Take into account whether your workers will require only voice, only data or a combination of the two. Then determine how the scale of the deployment might impact the range required for each. Will your system need to span one building, several buildings, a large industrial space and/or support workers in the field?
7 MANAGEABILITY, CONTROL AND SUPPORT
Will your device lighten the load on IT or add to it? The ability to centrally and remotely manage your device fleet is critical for everything from pushing upgrades to troubleshooting. Without the effective use of an MDM application, particularly in the case of a BYOD solution, your employees will either become responsible for finding their own support, or they will rely entirely on your help desk, forcing IT personnel to be familiar with potentially hundreds of models.
8 SUPPORT AND REPAIR SERVICES
Is your support plan cost effective? Is it all encompassing? Keeping your device fleet up and running requires a fast turnaround on repairs, replacement options with pre-existing software and setting provisions and exhaustive, no-questions-asked coverage. Start by evaluating how likely you will be to experience device failures and the implications of these failures on your business and your customer service levels. Then find a support plan that can mitigate these risks.
9 LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT
How will the rate of device churn impact your deployment? Constantly replacing devices that have failed and/or upgrading too frequently can result in a fleet of mixed generation devices with significant support complexities and capital outlays. The accessories and chargers for newer models of a device may not be backwards compatible, requiring additional purchases and a loss of equity in prior investments.
10 TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP (TCO)
How much will your mobile device really cost? When you factor in the potential costs of worker downtime, accelerated replacement cycles, additional accessories and the support needed for a successful implementation, it’s clear to see that the true costs of deploying mobility to support your line-of-business applications go far beyond just the device’s initial purchase price.
Contact us if you need further help to calculate the total cost of ownership of each device that you are considering and ask about our TCO calculator.
Every mobile deployment is unique, and yet, whether you need five devices or five thousand, one thing never changes – every business wants their investment to be a success.
Get the most out of your mobility investment: Choose a partner you can trust.
Contact AB&R® to start the conversation.
Call Us Today 800-281-3056 or request a Free Assessment