When looking to invest in mobile technology, many companies are drawn towards consumer-grade tablets. This is no surprise, as they are upwards of half the price of a rugged, enterprise grade tablet. Companies may be willing to take the added expense of having to replace the outdated tablets every few years rather than pay the higher upfront cost of an enterprise grade tablet. However, simply comparing the initial cost of the devices can be deceiving. The upfront and replacement costs are not nearly as concerning as the costs of a consumer grade device failure. In fact, more than 90% of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a consumer grade tablet comes after the initial purchase*.
Contributors to TCO
Lost productivity due to device failures
Lost productivity from a device failure could mean lost revenue opportunities. A study from VDC Research found that consumer devices fail up to four times more often than enterprise grade devices*. Device failure may mean lost time from additional travel to a job site, as a worker is no longer directly connected with the office. Or a lost sale from not having the necessary information or data to show a potential client.
Necessary IT support
The most significant IT costs are software and hardware updates across enterprise-wide deployed tablets. Other costs include security upgrades, resolution to security breaches, battery management and direct field deployment issues. To resolve field problems, companies report spending, on average, more than an hour to resolve a consumer tablet failure versus only 37 minutes for a rugged, enterprise grade tablet*.
Device repair or replacement
Enterprise grade devices are more likely to be covered by warranty than consumer devices, and the manufacturers also tend to offer comprehensive service plans. Consumer grade devices may require much more frequent replacement, often lasting only twelve to eighteen months. Enterprise grade, rugged devices however last, on average, closer to five years or more.
A Clear Advantage
In short, when looking to invest in mobile technology, companies must consider the potential cost of lost productivity and revenue, as well as IT support and device updates. Looking at more than just the initial cost of acquisition, there is clear advantage to rugged, enterprise grade devices.
*"Total Cost of Ownership Models - Enterprise and Government Mobility Applications", VDC Research