Ready for Business? The Value of Enterprise Grade Mobile Computers

Why Select Enterprise Grade Handhelds & Tablet PCs?

What type of handheld computer or tablet PC should you select for your operation? Beyond obvious differences in brands, it’s important to also consider the difference between consumer-grade and enterprise grade devices. While most businesses are better suited with enterprise-ready devices, it is certainly true that the larger your handheld mobile computer fleet, the more critical it is to select enterprise-grade for your mobile workers.

Enterprise or consumer grade computers

What Makes a Computing Device Qualify as Enterprise Grade?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell at a glance whether a handheld computer or tablet is consumer- or enterprise-grade. Many of the differences are in the software, and in the support available from the manufacturer and manufacturer’s partners such as CSSI.

Several factors contribute to making computing devices enterprise grade:

  1. Reliability: Enterprise grade devices are built to withstand heavy usage over extended periods without failure. They undergo rigorous testing to ensure reliability under various conditions. These devices are more resistant to drops, vibrations, and dirt/dust that will cripple consumer devices, offering years of reliable performance.
  2. Performance: Business users require computing devices with sufficient processing power, memory, and storage to handle their workload efficiently. Enterprise-grade devices often feature high-performance components optimized for business applications. Battery life is a typical area where enterprise-grade devices will excel, as they are built for (and tested for) hours of continuous usage.
  3. Security: Security is a top priority for businesses. Enterprise-grade devices come equipped with robust security features such as biometric authentication, encryption, secure boot, and remote management capabilities to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access. Further, enterprise devices typically include a more secure and hardened version of Android than the consumer version shipping with lower grade devices.
  4. Manageability: IT departments need to efficiently manage and maintain computing devices across an organization. Enterprise-grade devices offer comprehensive management tools and support for centralized device management, software deployment, updates, and monitoring. Compatibility with mobile device management (MDM) software is critical for the management of large quantities of devices.
  5. Compatibility: Compatibility with existing IT infrastructure and software is crucial for seamless integration and interoperability. Enterprise-grade devices are designed to work seamlessly with commonly used business applications and enterprise systems. Also, these devices will often have software tools for easier compatibility with industrial thermal label printers , wearable scanners , and other accessories such as RFID sleds.
  6. Durability: Business environments can be demanding, so enterprise-grade devices are often ruggedized to withstand shocks, vibrations, extreme temperatures, and other environmental factors.
  7. Scalability: As businesses grow, they need computing devices that can scale to accommodate increasing demands. Enterprise-grade devices offer scalability options such as expandable storage, memory, and connectivity. Features such as hot-swappable batteries enable the device’s use in 24/7 or multi-shift operations.

Enterprise grade mobile computers are ready for industrial usage and demanding environments

Don’t Forget to Consider the Predictable Lifecycle of Enterprise Grade Devices

It’s easy to overlook, so we certainly want to highlight a major difference between consumer and enterprise devices: the lifecycle.

Consumer devices come in versions which may be updated annually or even more frequently. As a result, when an enterprise buyer is selecting devices which will be used for years, and may require future purchases for damaged units or business growth, the buyer can not be certain that the same model will be available.

Enterprise grade devices, on the other hand, are offered with long-term and predictable lifecycles. Manufacturers such as Zebra Technologies publish their committed manufacturing and support time frame for Zebra mobile computers. Similarly, the Honeywell Mobility Edge platform was specifically developed for enterprise needs. Enterprise device manufacturers will commit to supporting Android operating system updates through a certain future version.

This means that an organization which adopts a specific model (making operational and software investments) can be certain that devices can be repaired and repurchased for years following the initial buy. This can be tremendously valuable, as a period of testing and validation may be required each time a new model is introduced, along with necessary end-user training.

Enterprise grade computers are better supported by manufacturers, and have benefits such as long-term security updates:

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Considerations When Choose Mobile Computers & Tablets for Business Usage

When selecting mobile computing devices for business usage, business users should consider:

  1. Business Requirements: Identify the specific needs and requirements of the business, including the type of workloads, software applications, and user preferences. How rugged must the device be? What battery life is required?
  2. Budget: Consider the budget constraints and choose devices that offer the best value for the investment while meeting business requirements.
  3. Compatibility: Ensure compatibility with existing IT infrastructure, software applications, and business processes to minimize disruptions and integration challenges. Is the Windows OS or Android OS preferred?
  4. Security: Prioritize devices with robust security features to protect sensitive data and mitigate cybersecurity risks.
  5. Support and Warranty: Choose devices from reputable manufacturers with a proven track record of providing reliable products and excellent customer support. Consider the warranty terms and support services offered. CSSI works with top enterprise device manufacturers.
  6. Scalability: Select a rugged mobile computer that can scale to accommodate future growth and your evolving business needs without significant additional investment.
  7. User Experience: Consider the usability, ergonomics, and user experience of the devices to ensure they meet the needs and preferences of the employees who will be using them.

Our team at CSSI recognizes the value of a proof-of-concept or pilot project, enabling you to test potential devices in a usage environment as close to the ultimate ‘live’ environment as possible. We have learned that this ensures project success and reduces deployment headaches and delays.

Typical Tasks Where Enterprise Mobile Computers are Advised

When productivity and reliability are critical and long-term use is expected, a consumer grade device is unlikely to meet your requirements and may in fact cost you more in the long run. Typical business tasks for enterprise handhelds include jobs like:

  • inventory management in the warehouse or distribution center
  • data collection on the manufacturing floor
  • vehicle mount computers for forklifts and trucks
  • order fulfillment and picking, enhanced by tools such as wearable mobile computers
  • shipping/receiving operations
  • proof-of-delivery tasks in trucking and delivery

There are countless industry solutions where reliable, rugged devices are a preferred option.

Contact CSSI for Enterprise Grade Mobile Computers & Rugged Tablet Options

To discuss your project and the value of enterprise grade handheld computers and related software solutions, contact the experts at CSSI . We look forward to supporting your successful purchase and deployment.

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