If you are like me, you are trying to keep up with mobility trends and the impact of consumer devices in our space. I came across a solid piece from the Mobile® Enterprise editorial staff regarding consumer vs. rugged devices with regard to field force automation recently, and I think it makes a lot of sense.
Many think that consumer-grade devices are well suited for field service, but they don’t consider every day wear and tear that will cause premature device replacement. End users need to consider the total cost of ownership when considering consumer-grade devices – not just the initial purchase price.
It is important to consider the following when comparing consumer vs. rugged devices:
- Environment – will it be too hot, too humid?
- Peripherals – will there be additional costs for peripherals for key functions such as card swiping?
- What is the failure rate or need for 3rd-party assistance? Or, what is the potential of downtime and loss of productivity? How will the issue affect the bottom line?
Consumer devices aren’t necessarily the right way to go when automating the field force.