As with any mobile computing or IT system in general, the solution is only as good as its weakest link. Therefore selecting the best software, having the quickest mobile communication and optimum data synchronisation possible is not a guarantee of success. If your mobile workers are using a device that is not big enough, has a poor battery life or is continually breaking then the solution is set to fail from the start.

 

Data Capture Solutions are true solution providers and will advise you which device is best suited to your mobile solution be it a smartphone, rugged PDA or tablet device.

The best way to select the correct hardware is to consider all the factors involved in your mobile solution from the people operating the device, the environment they will be working, the type of work they will need to do on the device. Once you have analysed and considered all aspects you will be able to select the correct mobile device.

 

However it is rarely that easy, as the right mobile device may not be what you were expecting. For example your users may want a large screen and a long battery life but be lightweight and run multiple applications. Obviously this wouldn’t be possible which is why by analysing what is essential then desirable and then nice to have and by following the 4 step process outlined below will ensure your mobile device will not be the weak link in your solution.

A step by step guide to selecting the correct mobile device:

 

 

 

It is important to consider who is going to be using the mobile devices, are they familiar with mobile technology and use it in their everyday life or do they prefer to do everything with pen and paper. This is why ergonomics such as size, weight, screen size and keypad need to be considered carefully to best suit your mobile users because if your users don’t like the device it will make adopting any solution much more difficult.

 

What do you need from the mobile device? Do you want to run multiple business applications therefore need to have sufficient memory and processor? Do you want to use the device as a phone, Sat Nav and/or email? What data capture do you wish to include into your business applications - Barcode Reading, Photo, RFID, Signature Capture or GPS?

What will be the environment where your mobile users will work? If it will be a harsh, dirty environment then a rugged mobile device would be the better option rather than a commercial smartphone. If you’re mobile users will be working in a less harsh or office environment then a smartphone or semi-rugged device with a protective case may be sufficient.

Finally it’s important to consider how the mobile users are to use the devices day to day. The solutions that realise the maximum benefits and return on investment have the devices that are as easy to use as possible for the mobile workers. Areas to consider are the type of communication the device will use 3G or Wi-Fi, battery size and charger options, the overall ergonomics of the device such as keyboard size and design, the overall weight and size of the device.

 

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