Considerations For Choosing The Right Mobile Device
With so many models from manufacturers worldwide, configuration available, and operating systems (OS), choosing the correct mobile device for your company can be difficult. But selecting the correct device will grant you more productivity, more efficiency and more accuracy for your business.
A number of important technology aspects, are behind the continuous changes in enterprise mobility, for example:
- Modern rf data collection terminals and rugged handheld devices are as easy to use and intelligent as well-known consumer-grade units with functionalities and features that boos productivity in your environment.
- More choices of operating systems (OS) for mobile units are available. Today, consumer grade OS developers like Android are focusing more into enterprise-level platforms.
- The end of support for existing Microsoft Windows mobile OS is upon us. Companies and operations running on windows-based devices will need to find an alternate OS, therefore upgrade to new handheld units. Microsoft has announced already the end-of-support date for 2020.
EVALUATE YOUR OPERATIONS
First, you need to understand where are you standing and where do you want to go. Whether you need to be more productive with your mobile workforce or do you need to keep compliance with your process, you need to plan your mobility migration.
You may evaluate your operations and your current mobile strategy by answering the following questions:
- What features are the most important to my business? (e.g., 4G LTE cellular connectivity, scanning options, ruggedness level)
- Which are the operating system features that may provide the functionality and flexibility needed? (e.g. security, accessories ecosystem options)
- What are resources needed to support these upgrades? (manufacturer, software providers)
WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS
An effective workforce mobility strategy will meet your needs today and tomorrow. It is built around three important elements:
- Operating System – choosing between OS options or adopting a multi-platform approach based on your business requirements.
- Applications – identifying new functionalities, features and transactions you want to perform, along with the user experience to improve adoption and productivity.
- Mobile Devices (Hardware) – finding devices that can meet your demands, your environment and the tasks you need to accomplish.
Please take note that before committing to any capital investment on your new mobile strategy, it is important to understand the different operating systems, types of devices, and app migration approaches you will need to perform.
SELECTING THE RIGHT OPERATING SYSTEM (OS)
For the last 15 years, companies relied on Windows-based platforms like Windows CE, Pocket PC, Windows Mobile and Windows Embedded to run their software and applications on mobile computers. However, by 2020, with end of support of Windows Embedded, 77% of these mobile computers being shipped today, will no longer be supported.
Upgrading to a modern operating system is not only necessary, but offers a broad range of advantages as a result of the new technology. Ypu need to take in consideration for your mobile strategy and migration plan, how to do you want to keep interoperability with your existing systems, as some OSs are better suited to certain enterprises than others.
OS OPTIONS – WHICH CAN BE RIGHT FOR YOU?
Keep in mind that each and every OS has their unique features and benefits, but also limitations. You may also consider as well a multi-platform approach or open architecture.
- ANDROID – Android has now matured into a serious enterprise level OS, especially when you leverage Zebra’s Mobility Extensions (MX) and Mobility DNA components to provide more control. It offers the flexibility of an open source platform and the ability to control OS upgrades.
- MICROSOFT WINDOWS 8/10 – Your software developers know Windows. Your employees know Windows. And many of your back-office systems run on Windows platforms and servers. But your current Windows applications will still need to be rewritten for Windows 8/10.
- APPLE iOS – You will benefit from a familiar, sexy interface and smooth user experience, plus an undeniable ‘cool’ factor. But unfortunately, in Apple’s closed system, you have very limited hardware and ecosystem choices, lack of visibility of OS upgrades, and you will not know IF your applications will work in the next OS update.
- LEGACY MICROSOFT WINDOWS – Sticking with what you have can often seem like a safest option, but it is also the easiest way to get left behind by the technology pathway. What will be your options when your mobile computers cannot be longer used? In addition, end of support means no more security patches, which can open you up to further risks.
SELECTING THE RIGHT DEVICES
If you are about to make an investment in new hardware and mobile devices, you must calculate which devices will give you the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). While consumer grade devices can seem cheaper in up-front costs, over their (often very limited) lifetime they can cost much more, taking in consideration daily use and abuse, downtime, reliability, training and other factors all contribute to higher TCO.
The latest generation of mobile computers offers huge leaps in performance over older hardware devices. They use much faster processors and make the most of the capabilities of modern operating systems. They are also equipped with intuitive user interfaces that offer all-touch data entry instead of traditional keypads.
When it comes to your users, workplace, and business apps, there are key considerations to take into account before making a selection:
Modernizing your existing mobile applications or porting them to a new OS is not just about creating a new version. It is a chance to deliver real business improvements through enhanced functionality that supports more efficient workflows.
Instead of starting from the point of view of the application, it is useful to start instead with your goals. Asking “What could we achieve if…?” will provide you with answers that you can use as a foundation for your application strategy.
At MultiSystems, we can can help you plan and migrate to the newest technology with the devices and OS that fit your needs with the programming and implementation to ensure your new solutions success. Contact us today and learn how we can integrate today’s technologies with your existing operations process.
Information provided by Zebra Technologies “Workforce Mobility Guide To Workforce Mobility” White Paper, 04/2016