We love our mobile devices. What other thing in your life seems to keep getting smarter?
New versions and new apps deliver an endless number of reasons to keep your
smartphone or tablet always within reach, 24/7.
It’s natural that the consumer devices we love follow us to work. It’s a great way to keep
connected with the people, tasks, and events in your life. But there needs to be a
dividing line between a device that handles your personal computing and one that meets
the needs of your job.
A consumer-grade device might seem like a smart choice for business, because the
initial purchase price is so appealing. The more rugged, enterprise-class devices may
carry a higher price tag, but the price you pay to acquire the device is only a fraction of
the total cost of ownership (TCO). When you’re pondering consumer versus rugged
enterprise mobile devices, what’s the real cost?
If you’ve ever dropped your smartphone on a concrete floor, and then held your breath
as you picked it up, you know that this device isn’t designed for a tough work
environment—like plant floors, warehouses, retail, healthcare, transportation & logistics,
and field service, to name a few.
Compare the durability. A consumer-grade device has a 23% failure rate in a tough
environment with a life expectancy of 12 months. The rugged, enterprise-grade mobile
device averages a 7% failure rate and lasts three years—three times as long as its
consumer counterpart! What are you paying for all the replacement consumer devices
over those three years? It’s not the low price of that original one.
Consider the additional expenses for enhancing your consumer device to meet more
enterprise needs. A durable case, for example, can cost $100 or more, per device, while
the rugged device comes fitted with the tough exterior, as well as a tougher grade of
Will you need to purchase a point-of- sale sled to enable this function on your consumer
device? If so, add that into your total cost of ownership.
TCO includes the cost for managing your devices: provisioning, maintaining, monitoring,
and decommissioning. When your employees use their mobile device for personal as
well as business purposes, you run the risk of data breaches in your network, so your IT
team must ensure that all devices are secured and the software is updated as needed. If
those personal devices are lost or stolen, you have the added task of remotely wiping
the data as quickly as possible.
In addition to protecting the network, your IT professionals will have a broader range of
devices, operating systems, and applications to monitor and troubleshoot. That takes
time. With a rugged enterprise device, you can allocate more of your IT investment for
proactive work, rather than patching consumer devices.
This is an indirect cost associated with mobile devices. How does a device failure impact
productivity? Are they unable to provide customer support or close sales? How much
time is wasted when a worker has to seek out a replacement device? And what does
that time translate to in dollars? In the field, a driver can lose up to 75 minutes of
productivity when a mobile device fails. In an industrial environment, the combination of
labor cost and lost revenue can reach $125 per hour, and up. Optimizing productivity is
the best way to maintain your competitive edge.
According to VDC Research, the total cost of ownership for a consumer smartphone in
business applications is almost double that of the enterprise mobile device. The
difference in TCO for a consumer tablet versus a rugged enterprise tablet is even
At Symbology, we understand that businesses choose consumer-grade devices
because they are familiar, easy to use, and seemingly cost-effective. But when you look
at all the factors that contribute to total cost of ownership, the choice is simple. Talk to us
about rugged, enterprise-grade devices, because you’ll get more functionality, security,
data capture options, robust connectivity, and a longer life per device.