Why my company needs rugged computers ?

Companies always in search of new technologies to improve efficiency, reduce costs and save time. However often companies not thinking about the total cost of ownership (TCO) in the long-run, by trying to save today only, they make their biggest strategical mistake and starting to lose money and work efficiency already the next day.

Using of technology that can withstand rough and unique day-to-day operations of your business would be the correct choice. Consumer grade technology won’t withstand extreme temperatures, dust, dirt, steam, salt, drops, shocks, liquid spillage the way rugged computers do. In the long run, using rugged computers and tablets, companies can save tens of thousand of dollars every year and drastically increase efficiency and decrease downtime.

So, Rugged or Consumer ?

Consumer devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops are often smaller and lighter in weight than Rugged devices of the same type. These devices have all the necessary abilities to do your job, operating system, different software apps, WI-fi to access the internet, ability to make and receive calls and messages, most of them also have GPS for navigation abilities.

However, Rugged mobile and handheld computers offer a more specialized set of functions, capabilities intended to enable you business to operate flawlessly and a much higher level of protection and reliability. They have brighter display to allow readability under direct sunlight, higher powered Bluetooth, GPS and LTE modules, durable, industrial grade solid state drives, Harder casing with external protection and internal reinforcements to protect internal parts from drops, shocks and other environmental challenges. Because of higher quality of materials and components used in fully Rugged devices, their lifespan often goes far beyond the 5 years mark, that can thereby save the company total cost of ownership, repair, replacement and data recovery costs.

A wise investment

Although priced higher than consumer devices, fully rugged computer equipment is a very good investment in the long-term, unlike consumer devices.

Consumer grade devices have higher chance to fatal damage, broken devices result no only in downtime, but also in reduced productivity, revenue and data loss.

Fully rugged computer equipment is optimized for enterprise and military use, it is often equipped features like RFID readers, Barcode scanner, MRZ and MSR readers, highly sensitive fingerprint scanners, vehicle mounts, internal heaters for normal operation under extreme cold conditions, sets of specialized I/O ports and specialized software, integration of which into consumer grade devices can be very expensive or even impossible.

Total Cost of Ownership

Total cost of ownership (TCO) is the estimated total amount to help procurement officers assess the cost related to the any purchase, spread over the life of the device. The TCO will assess not only the initial costs, but also usage, repair, downtime and maintenance costs (Life span costs).

Initial and life span costs are both to be considered when making a purchase of a major asset for any company. Initial costs are readily apparent, Purchase, integration, training and deployments costs, which are considered when buying any computing system. While life span costs encountered through the device’s usage life cycle until it get obsolete for the purpose.

In order to correctly calculate the total cost of ownership, it is important to compare the failure rates of consumer grade devices versus far lower failure rate of fully rugged equipment. VDC Research reported the failure rate of consumer devices (any issue that requires technical support) to be as high as 40%, meaning that repairs or replacements have to be made on an extremely frequent basis

Initial Costs

  • Purchase Cost
  • Integration Costs
  • Training Costs
  • Deployment Costs

Life span costs when device gets Damaged

  • Lost revenue
  • Customer Dissatisfaction
  • Data Loss
  • Employee Downtime
  • Customer Service Impact
  • Employee Morale
  • Time for Diagnostic and Repair

Another major aspect of life span cost is the percentage of time your employee will be without the device while it is being serviced. As we mentioned before, consumer grade device’s failure rate is at 40%, as for the fully rugged equipment, it’s failure rate varies at about 3% per annum.

If we review a field oriented company with an average of 30 employees that use mobile computers and handhelds in the field, there will be a significant difference in the long-term costs of using consumer grade versus fully rugged computer equipment.

Rugged versus Ruggedized

Fully Rugged Military grade tablet or computer is a lot more than a consumer grade device put in to the tough case, the internal components of a consumer device aren’t made to be used in rough environment, aren’t made to survive constant vibration, repeated drops, shock and aren’t doing very good when extreme temperatures are involved. “Ruggedized” computer is basically a consumer grade device wrapped into impressively looking protective case, which can only protect device’s sides and corners from cosmetic damage when dropped, but what really happens when a computer is being dropped onto a hard surface ? All it’s internal components suffer from significant shock, but because the internal parts of the device aren’t made to withstand shock, after several drops, the device will start failing.

Where fully Rugged computers and tablets are specifically made to withstand constant vibration, shock, drops, dust, liquid, pressure changes, extreme temperatures and many other aspects of rough work environment, where the main expectations from computer equipment are reliability, response speed, highest quality, efficiency, convenience and durability.

Increasing Work Efficiency

Your company gets the most out of its investment when your mobile computers are used to their full potential. Rugged devices are made specifically for harsh work environments, so they have features that make the devices easy to use and master.