From The Editor | October 29, 2010

How Rugged? Form Factor? Ask The Mobile Worker


By Sarah Howland, Editor In Chief, Integrated Solutions magazine

It is important when deploying any mobile device to make sure that the device fits the needs of your company — that it’s compatible with the software solution you choose, interoperable with other technology already deployed, able to transfer data securely, within budget, etc. But, while the technology must meet specific company requirements, you can’t overlook the needs of your mobile workers during device selection. Which type of device will fit best with their day-to-day work? What are the unique characteristics of the work they perform in the field, and what device out there addresses those needs specifically? I recently moderated a webinar titled Mobile Computing: Uncompromised, that was focused on the topic of finding a device that fits your mobile workers’ needs, versus forcing your mobile workers to mold their processes to accommodate a technology selection.

The webinar featured presentations from LXE, VDC Research, ExtenData, and Airwatch on how you can choose a device that is tailored to the needs of the mobile user. What struck me as particularly interesting during the webinar was data presented by Chris Rezendes, executive VP of the industrial automation group at VDC Research. Rezendes noted that while the spending on commercial- grade devices and rugged devices is expected to increase throughout 2013, semirugged devices are losing market share. Essentially, when it comes to ruggedness, users are either opting for the works or forgoing it altogether.

The Transition From Notebook To Tablet
factors in use and under evaluation, which showed a transition in the type of devices companies are deploying. For instance, while 25.1% of companies currently have notebooks deployed, only 15.7% of companies are evaluating notebooks for a future purchase. However, while only 7.4% of companies are using tablet computers now, 15.4% are evaluating tablets for an upcoming purchase. While there’s no way to know the “why” behind this data, let’s hope that the shift in selection has something to do with feedback from the everyday users of the technology. If there was one theme that was reinforced throughout Mobile Computing: Uncompromised, it’s to keep your mobile workers in mind when choosing technology — to choose devices that will work with them and for them, not against them. If you’re interested in more information from the recent webinar, it is available on demand at