Magazine Article | March 28, 2011

Tech Update: How Rugged Should Your Smartphone Be?

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

By Brian Albright, Field Technologies magazine

Smartphones have become a fact of life for enterprise IT departments. Companies have deployed them for employee communications, and employees in turn have been bringing their own devices to work.

Increasingly, enterprises are allowing these phones (both corporate-owned and personal) to be used for line-of-business applications. "Not only are developers creating applications for specific-use cases, but we're also seeing development on the corporate side as well," says Mark Tauschek, research director at Info- Tech Research Group. "We're seeing the ability to virtually access enterprise applications through Web applications on smartphones, or through native applications and tools."

The problem: in many field service and sales applications, consumer-grade smartphones may not be rugged enough to withstand the harsh conditions that end users expose them to. Conversely, rugged devices are sometimes seen as too specialized or too expensive by companies with tight budgets. How can end users decide what type of device to use?

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