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

Some say that 2016 was a game-changing for government and that 2017 will be centered greatly on change management. As  IDC recently noted: “Governments are confronted with a complex context driving them to come up with new policies, service delivery models, and operational excellence practices.” But the efficient utilization of technology isn’t just a public sector challenge, according to Xplore’s mobility experts.

Sure, nearly every major private sector worldwide is now becoming more aggressive in their automation of business processes and acceptance of a fully mobile workforce. This is due primarily to the maturation of internet-accessible mobility platforms and subsequent immediacy of information dispersal critical to basic business functions. However, funding availability, regulatory environments, and competition ultimately dictate the pace and scale at which both government entities and global enterprises embrace technology to the benefit of their stakeholders: employees, customers, partners, and investors. That’s why we believe that mobility investments in nearly every industry worldwide will be mutually influenced by the actions of new government leaders and an evolution in customer expectations given the rise of today’s “on-demand” culture. For example, here are 2 ways that our in-house experts predict government could impact certain industries’ mobility investments in the coming year:


Military and Defense:
“With the new administration coming into office in the United States, we are sure to see some changes in the attitude towards Military and Defense which will probably shadow the early days of the Reagan Administration following the Carter Administration. In the early 1980’s, Reagan increased spending that had been cut during the Carter Administration. The Obama Administration also cut spending at the DoD while Trump, along with the more conservative Congress, will likely increase the budgets and spending. That’s why I predict the DoD will increase its investment in technologies that improve mobilization and communications capabilities over the next few years, especially rugged tablets.”


Natural Resources
“Given the turmoil and increased tensions in OPEC countries right now, and the anticipated confirmation of the new United States Secretary of State nominee, I also predict that we will see U.S. Oil & Gas companies make a rebound and increase spending on equipment and production, including rugged tablets.”
~ Dane Hatchett, Regional Sales Director

Now, these predictions are no surprise given that rugged tablets are the only mobile computing technology that has been able to adapt to each industry’s – and each customer’s – safety, security and performance standards for the last 20 years. They also provide the long-term platform stability that makes for smart investments by sectors where technology spending is highly controlled and inconsistent from year to year. But rugged tablets, though no longer “disruptive” by most definitions, are also garnering renewed attention in some industries because of their ability to facilitate progress without necessitating significant device/platform reinvestment in the process. For example…


Public Safety:
“I expect the recent announcement of FirstNet – a nationwide Public Safety network with a projected $8B award to AT&T – to serve as a key catalyst for increased mobile investments, and particularly rugged tablet sales, in 2017. Not only do rugged tablets offer the level of mobility the Public Safety vertical requires today, but they can satisfy the baseline requirement of FirstNet at a technical level: a built-in combination of Land Mobile Radios (LMR) and LTE in Block D-Band 14, along with push-to-talk (PTT) applications that provide P-25 encryption end-to-end. I can tell you that Xplore, as a rugged tablet manufacturer, will be working with State and Local agencies more closely in 2017 to implement mobility solutions based on LTE devices that also have the capacity today to work on LMR networks and leverage unique LMR features as agencies are ready to turn them on. They stand to gain a lot from capabilities such as one-to-many communications or group text messaging; live user mapping; bread crumb tracking; and the extension and augmentation of computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and remote management systems (RMS), mobile dispatch and mobile consoles. That’s why I predict a lot of money, most likely in the form of Federal Grants, will become available in 2017 to State and Local Government Agencies – the early adopters of FirstNet who need funding to implement the right fundamental mobile technologies today.”
~ Tom LaHoda, Senior Director of Business Development, Public Safety

But the motivation to increase mobile technology investments and utilization to improve worker safety and productivity is not exclusive to the public safety sector. Nor would it be accurate to credit a single mobile technology alone with “changing the world.” It’s no secret that several mobile technologies – most of which were still conceptual a decade ago – are now essential to our collective ability to propel the revitalization of entire communities, facilitate increased entrepreneurship and create sustainable market structures for every industry that influences our quality of life, from utilities to manufacturing.

However, it is our belief at Xplore that rugged tablets remain the only fundamental computing platform able to evolve rapidly as future-focused technology standards emerge. After all, as a wise man  recently said:

“Rugged tablets are system agnostic, highly flexible, and exclusively equipped with advanced technological capabilities – and highly sought-after feature combinations – that can’t be found in any other PC form factor, rugged or not. (And most certainly not in off-the-shelf tablet PCs.)”

See Part II of this Blog Series