8 Ways Rugged Mobility Will Change – or Be Changed By – Global Industry, Government in 2017 Part II

Last week I shared our team’s predictions for how government changes will influence changes in mobile technology spending in 2017. I also noted that rugged tablets have already proven to increase productivity of field-based workers, provide greater data continuity between disparate systems, and empower leaders to make well-informed real-time decisions about how to adjust production or service levels in response to their respective customer demands or market conditions. The progress made towards a stronger technology climate is just the beginning of what’s possible, though.


Here are 4 more ways that we predict rugged mobility solutions will change the way some of the largest global industries conduct business (for the better) in 2017:


“Manufacturing in the West remains strong, with increased focus on highly customized, higher value products. Along with more in-factory computer-driven emphasis, as seen in the Connected Factory and soon with Industry 4.0, manufacturers will recognize in 2017 that some of their workforce is comprised of “information workers”. This conceptual transition means manufacturers will no longer think of workers as technicians who need access to data, rather knowledge workers who need continual real time data, data collection tools and direct connection with factory's servers (who, by the way, happen to also have excellent mechanical skills).”
~Bob Ashenbrenner, president of Durable Mobility Technologies, LLC, and consultant to Xplore



“We’re going to see this sector move to full-time use of tablet devices in place of bulkier PCs to help speed data collection. Now that rugged tablets suitable for forklift applications are available, you can confidently purchase armored tablets to place on forklifts or other workhorse vehicles where impact, sun, vibration, dirt, and moisture might otherwise spell doom for devices.
~ Kevin Maloney and Mike O’Rourke, Regional Sales Directors


In 2017, we’re going to see transportation leaders across all sub-sectors deploy mobile devices to more core functions; this will allow them to better manage ‘moving data’. For example, I anticipate that more train conductors and drivers on the road will be provided mobile devices intended to serve as a “flight bag”, similar to what we’ve seen with pilots to-date. These devices will link to driver fatigue equipment, provide vehicle diagnostics, and issue job tickets that sync with warehouse mobile devices in order to facilitate smooth handovers. Think of rugged tablets as a “fork truck to cabin” data platform in this scenario.


I also predict will see an emergence of more connected vehicles, i.e. “vehicle as a hub”. For example, locomotives, heavy haulage equipment and semi – truck trailers will become a hub for multiple pieces of communication equipment via intelligent gateways.

Lastly, I expect to see more managed assets. It will become more standard for rugged tablets to be deployed to mobile inspectors to increase uptime of rolling stock across rail and water transportation, internally and externally. This will increase safety levels as well as increase productivity. Highly accessible and manageable timetables will aid in public transportation coordination, etc.”
~ Brett Gross, Director of Sales, Australia-New Zealand

We’ve already started to usher in a new era of social and economic standards in many countries around the globe; the digitization of data can be credited with that movement. Now we look forward to watching how the ongoing collaboration of the private and public sector will influence a greater standardization on rugged mobile technologies that can drive progress the workplace and beyond.

See Part I of this Blog Series

Want to have a more in-depth discussion about how rugged tablets can help you achieve your mobility goals in 2017?

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