Purchase Mobile Computers Wisely

Jerker Hellström
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Algiz Rugged Tablet

Cost of hardware pales in comparison to cost of downtime:

 
Higher productivity, increased labor costs and a strong trends towards true mobility in the work place are all factors that have put the spotlight firmly on ‘total costs of ownership’ for computers and devices. Organizations will have to start spending more on durable and reliable mobile computers rather than looking for bargains, if they want to avoid losing valuable productive time.
 
20 years ago, a laptop could cost the equivalent of a month’s salary for the employee who was supposed to use it. Since then, prices of mobile computers have been slashed. Great news, isn’t it?! Let us just continue to buy the cheapest computers available. They are so cheap to replace!
 
Not so fast. Yes, mobile computers have become much more inexpensive, and much more advanced, in the last decade or two. But there has also been other major changes in the workplace.
 
One such is the trend towards true mobility. Smaller and better devices, better software solutions for mobile work, and increasing availability and affordability of wireless broadband have made people less confined to the traditional office environment. Traditional field workers and many white collar workers now spend much of their time out of the office and on the go. But consumer, or commercial, computers are simply too fragile to withstand mobile work even in moderately tough environments. They might last one year, or two at the most . Rugged computers, on the other hand, are more expensive but they are built for tough environments and can last five years or more. They also have much lower failure rates, simply because they are rugged.
 
Another strong development has been the steady rise in wages and productivity for e.g. professional field workers. A tablet or a smartphone now costs the equivalent of maybe only a few hours’ salary for an employee. In the old days it was important to get the best possible price for mobile devices. Today it is more important to not lose productivity. A field worker who sits idly for four hours because his or her computer is malfunctioning, has wasted the entire cost of the computer in lost productivity. Also, everything is connected these days – one broken computer can affect the work of many people.
 
It all boils down to the magic of total cost of ownership (TCO). The total cost of ownership includes all direct and indirect costs associated with the purchase of an asset over its entire lifecycle. A TCO analysis includes the total cost of acquisition and the subsequent operating costs. Acquisition costs are quite straightforward: they include the costs for computer hardware and programs, Installation and integration, and migration expenses.
 
Ofter overlooked are the subsequent operating expenses during the lifespan of the computers. They are usually much higher than the purchase costs and include downtime, outage and failure expenses, backup and recovery process, and replacement costs. Downtime is the most serious, and costly, of these expenses.
 
Independent research firm VDC  estimates that mobile workers lose an average of 75 minutes each time their mobile devices fail. In a study focused on rugged computers, VDC hasperformed TCO computations across four levels of computers, from non-rugged to fully rugged, across a number of common mobile applications. The total cost for each type of computer has been calculated over a five-year lifespan. The results show that using a commercial or non-rugged device will cost you about 65 per cent more per year than using a fully rugged device.

Generally speaking TCO studies show that over a 3-5 year period of use, the more rugged devices will carry a lower total cost of ownership, meaning that over that period they are actually cheaper than the less rugged devices, even though they are usually more expensive to purchase.
 
With the complexity of today’s technology configurations, the cost of deployment and downtime is high if something breaks down. The upfront cost of a piece of mobile technology pales in comparison to the potential cost of downtime and redeployment.  Organizations would be well advised to start increasing the costs for their mobile devices, in the name of productivity.
 
Jerker Hellström, CEO, Handheld Group is a pioneer and industry veteran in the mobile rugged computer industry. In both entrepreneurial and managerial positions, he has 25 years of experience from developing, designing, manufacturing and marketing rugged computers globally.

 

  • Algiz Rugged Tablet

    Algiz Rugged Tablet

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

PlateSmart Ups Security at Port Tampa Bay

Port Tampa Bay, Florida’s largest maritime port and the 16th largest in the United States, has elected to implement PlateSmart's ARES enterprise license plate recognition-based video analytics system.

NSRP Awards $11m for R&D Project Portfolio

The Executive Control Board of the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) has selected a new round of research and development projects for award, as part

Liquefaction Terminals to Dominate LNG Capital Expenditure

Capital expenditure (Capex) on global LNG facilities is expected to total $259 billion (bn) over the period 2015-2019, with investments expected to be 88% larger

Marine Electronics

PlateSmart Ups Security at Port Tampa Bay

Port Tampa Bay, Florida’s largest maritime port and the 16th largest in the United States, has elected to implement PlateSmart's ARES enterprise license plate recognition-based video analytics system.

Transas Upgrades Simulator Complex in Batumi

The presidents of Georgia and Latvia open the Batumi State Maritime Academy renovated training center powered by the Transas simulators On November 27, 2014, President

Workboats: Communications is Key Operational Tech

As we close out yet another year, I am constantly amazed at how much things change on the waterfront and the boats that ply the adjacent waters. Similarly, I like

Marine Equipment

Barge Master T700 to Be Installed on Boskalis Ndeavor

A Barge Master BM-T700 system was unloaded in Singapore today as it awaits the early 2015 arrival of DP-2 multipurpose vessel Boskalis Ndeavor.   According to Barge Master,

Royal Caribbean to Install Scrubbers on 19 Ships

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) will retrofit 19 of its ships with advanced emissions purification (AEP) systems. These systems, also known as scrubbers, will

US Fleet to Pump $75m into Great Lakes Shipyards

U.S.-flag Great Lakes vessel operators plan to spend $75 million this winter to ready the fleet for the 2015 shipping season, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reported.

Software Solutions

K Line to Expand Use of Eco-efficiency Software

Three further K Line vessels to install ClassNK-NAPA GREEN eco-efficiency software after reporting fuel savings during trials on an 8,600 TEU container vessel   NAPA

Breakthrough Capability Keeps Subs, Ships Safe

Interactive software that can dramatically cut the time it takes to plan safe submarine missions is crossing over to the surface fleet and is being installed

Lloyd's Register Foundation Funds Big Data Study

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation today launched its Foresight review of big data and announced a conditional grant offer of £10 million to support research by

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3691 sec (3 req/sec)