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Which Mobile Device is Right for your Business?

Posted by Zebra EMEA

March 6, 2015 at 9:00 AM

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Part one of the finding the right mobile device blog series.

The vast number of consumer and enterprise grade mobile devices available on the market today can make finding the right device for business use very difficult. From rugged devices to shiny new smartphones, the list is endless when it comes to the models, suppliers, configurations and operating systems on offer – not to mention the plethora of apps available that will enable smartphones to be used for business.

To make things more complicated, there is pressure from all directions, from end users to procurement, IT, Finance and Operations. The wrong choice could have an impact on your overall productivity, efficiency and service.

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We have compiled 10 critical steps to consider when choosing a mobile device and in this first part of a two part series, we summarise the first five steps you need to consider in order to make sure you make the right decision for your business needs.

1. Application & Environment Demands

Is there a possibility of a device being dropped, dunked or frozen? With your staff relying on these devices on a daily basis to carry out business critical tasks, you need to be reassured that your chosen device will be robust enough to survive the inevitable. Factors such as extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, dust and dirt, and even whether or not users will be wearing gloves, need to be considered. Ultimately, durability will have a significant impact on the type of device that is best.

2. Data Capture Requirements

Do you require your device to double as a scanner or capture documents or images and recognise specific data points? If so, how often? Determine how frequently your device will be required to scan and capture documents/images, how quick and accurate it needs to be and whether there are any additional requirements, such as signature capture or card payment capabilities.

3. Power Needs

How long will your device need to be powered for? Will it be in continuous use all day, or even over several shifts? Will your mobile workforce have access to a charging solution, or are they out on the field with no access to power for long periods of time? Power management is about more than just a high-capacity battery, other factors such as the ability to swap the battery or monitor performance may be essential.

4. Training and Ease of Use

Is your workforce likely to embrace and adopt a new device? Or is your deployment more likely to fall victim to workarounds and non-compliance? Here it is important to consider the demographics of your workforce, their user preferences and any operating system familiarity (or unfamiliarity) when choosing your device.

5. Security Requirements

What impact could a security breach stemming from your mobility deployment have on your business? The breadth of information covered by privacy law, coupled with the value of even the most basic personal information to a cyber-criminal, means the transfer of any data relating to customers or the business needs to be ultra-secure.

Ultimately, we believe that both consumer and enterprise-grade devices can fulfil an important role within the business; however, an informed understanding of these devices is essential if you are to choose the right one for you.

This is by no means an exhaustive list; when it comes to assessing how different devices and deployment strategies fulfil your essential criteria, there are a number of additional factors that you should consider. Our white paper, 10 Steps to Finding the Right Mobile Device {Link to LP}, offers further detail on the five factors we have touched upon here, plus five more essential steps to follow to ensure that by the time you select a device, you are confident that it is the right solution for your business.

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Topics: Supply Chain, Mobility, Manufacturing, EMEA, T&L, Field Mobility