As part of our Mobile Mission Critical Series we’re looking at each facet that makes a solution rugged or mission critical.  Ruggedness is just one area, it’s vitally important and rather than talk about Ruggedness today (We’ve harped on about that too many times already on this blog!) we’re going to specifically look at why ruggedness = Mission Critical.

Ruggedness = More robust

Because rugged PDA hardware is designed to be tougher, the amount of damaged PDA’s you’ll have will be less, far less.  Industry figures roughly calculate about 5% per year rugged devices will go faulty at some stage whereas smartphones are nearer the 20% mark and above.  This includes accidental damage like cracked screens.

Ruggedness = More suitable

Most mobile application are outside and weather means you need an IP rating.  Smartphones will fog up in humid and damp conditions whereas a rugged PDA will resist all manner of wet and dusty conditions.  It makes them far less likely to go wrong in far more conditions.

Ruggedness = Less time wasted

You’ll have 1 device for a 3-5 year period or even more and it will be more than capable of delivering over this time frame.  This means less change for your users which in turn means less time and money spent on training, less time spent on working out how the hardware works and because you can easily lock down a rugged PDA it also means less time wasted by users on non critical tasks like browsing the internet!

Ruggedness = More Able

With so many different configu=rations rugged PDA’s can have you not only have options that allow your devices to do more tasks, such as barcode scanning or RFID Reading, but you’re also far more able to keep 1 device but have different configurations of them so your business and users maintain a familiarity with your RUgged PDA Hardware.

Ruggedness = Less Down time

At the end of the day Mission Critical is all about the service you offer to your customers and down-time is what you’re trying to minimise.  Sure you can buy double the amount of non-rugged hardware and swap out but all of the above areas we’ve discussed here will become more prevalent and you’re solution and business will become less efficient.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at service and support

The Rugged and Mobile blog.