Sarah Howland, editor of Field Technologies Online recently wrote a blog titled "Is the Tablet Buzz Dying Down?" We all know that today’s mobile workers have more technology options than ever before. More software, more hardware, more apps. Could it be tablets have passed their glory days and are fading out? Intrigued (and a bit perturbed), I popped open the blog to find out her thoughts.
Her verdict: No. Sarah does not believe tablet popularity is dying down. In fact, she believes it is here to stay. What she so cleverly points out in her blog is that no mobile device is a great fit for every organization. Not even the tablet.
We couldn’t agree more.
Yes, you read that right. Motion, the #1 rugged tablet provider worldwide* doesn’t think the tablet is the answer to every organization’s mobile challenges. We think the tablet can be a part of the solution for many organizations, depending on the business and specific workflow needs.
Before looking at any technology, it is important to take a closer look at your business. Understanding and defining the work being automated is critical to mobile computing success.
The first step is to look at how is the work being done now. Then, define what can be improved – or how the work should be performed for the most efficient, accurate result. Once these are understood, the answers to important tactical questions (like the following) become clear.
- What environment is the worker primarily in?
- How remote are employees?
- Can you rely on “an always connected” application, or do you need “store and forward”?
- Do your workers need a higher amount of power, specific carrying case or a vehicle mount?
- Is a barcode scanner or camera needed?
- What operating system is needed to run all the software systems?
- Is data entered more easily with a keyboard, a stylus or by touch?
- How sensitive is the work being performed and what level of security is needed?
Not only will defining workflows help select the proper mobile device, it will also help define what other mobile technology is needed, such as accessories, wireless services, in-vehicle solutions and software. A mobile device alone doesn’t solve anything. A tablet alone doesn’t solve anything. It’s not all about the tablet.
Selecting a provider who understands mobile workflows in your industry and has developed a suite of technology to address those needs will be key to enabling the most effective mobility for your business.
*VDC Research 2012
Britton K. Cronin