The real cost of non-rugged equipment
To design, develop, manufacturer and deliver a rugged or semi rugged device is not achieved by putting a rubber cover around a product so it can survive minor drops and or a bit of swimming pool water. Ruggedisation is about investing in a device that’s purpose built by specialist manufactures that will work for many years and not need to be upgrade every time a new version of the OS is delivered.
It’s about TCO (total cost of ownership).
*Research provides figures for device failure comparing rugged and non-rugged mobile devices.
*Source: VDC Research Group
My experience tells me that most business want to see their mobile computing solutions in place for a minimum of 3 years and a they would hope to get up to 5 years if possible.
As most of us are aware the real cost of mobile devices adds up exponentially over that 3-5 year period.
If a business calculated all costs including:
• Lost time
They should find:
• Downtime is the leading contributor to TCO.
• Device failure is the leading cause of downtime.
• Failure rates for non-rugged devices is an average 5 times higher than for rugged devices.
From this perspective you might begin to see that the demands of a mobile workforce, whether or not the environment is hostile, places greater demands on consumer class technologies.
Consumer grade smart phones, tablets and laptops are designed to seduce buyers with their cool and groovy looks and the latest specifications. Fashion-technology moves quickly and means new models arrive regularly and with short product cycles that match end users ever growing appetite to have the latest piece of bling. Consumer grade devices are not manufactured for toughness or continual use in the field and the manufacturers know that regular device replacement is predictable. Look at the warranties provided the devices are expected to be damaged or break if mistreated and there is a huge and profitable market for spare parts and repairs.
On the other hand rugged smart phones, tablets and laptops are designed for continual operation and to keep working even under the harshest conditions. Rugged and semi rugged devices are designed for rugged environments and they typically have a longer product life cycles that would match the expectations of businesses who operate devices over a 3 – 5 year period, allowing like-for-like model availability for replacements and any additional procurements.
In today’s mobile workforce environment there is now the option for ruggedness and reliability that can provide consumer grade look and feel but have the factors like inherent protection within the housing materials, added protection internally and externally in the form of shock absorption, construction and assembly design, seals and gaskets, elimination of moving parts via solid state technologies reducing the need for cooling system and more.