For the CTO, implementing new hardware and software within the organization are weighty decisions. Protecting and optimizing technology are tasks that affect many people, both within and outside the company. With the ever-changing and growing field of mobile data collection technology, hitting the ground running with the best tools possible is necessary to stay ahead of the competition and truly fulfill your customers’ desires. There are several key factors that come into play when strategizing around the level of protection needed for your organization’s mobile data collection devices. One of the most important aspects of mobile data collection systems that the CTO must consider is the type of device that aligns best with the organization’s workforce. There are several new, state-of-the-art mobile data collection software systems (such as COMMAND Mobile). Now, check out how to align hardware with specific work environments.
For the CTO, VDC Research provides the following mobile workforce segmentation – “commercial-grade,” “business-rugged,” “semi-rugged” and “fully-rugged”:
Commercial-grade – While commercial grade offers the “lowest” level of protection, that qualification does not mean these devices are flimsy and unreliable. The commercial-grade mobile data collection devices are ideal for the general public within non-harsh environments. Ideal situations limit the amount of travel burdened upon the devices. This level of protection is ideal for non-harsh environments where transportation of the device is held to a minimum. Everyday recreational use and small business practices frequent this level of protection.
Business rugged – With business rugged, the level of protection increasingly becomes noticeable. Take, for example, the waterproof and spill proof keyboards. In addition, the casing around mobile data collection devices is secure and can withstand more intense pressures and outside abrasive forces. With the increased durability against falls, business rugged devices are typically used in environments where mobile data collection devices require regular travel. Travel abrasions as well as increased falls result when workers frequently travel. Thankfully, the business rugged features are there to soften the blow. Where travel may not be such of a concern, there are other features of business rugged protection that other industries scramble towards. Due to the high level of liquids within the healthcare industry, healthcare professionals find the spill proof keyboards especially attractive. Healthcare personnel tend to benefit from business rugged devices (depending on the environment).
Semi-rugged – Once the protection level peaks to the semi-rugged level, the details get more intricate and provide better device protection. Not only does the semi-rugged contain the features of business-rugged protection, but this class has a few special features of its own. In addition to the reinforced casings, the semi-rugged devices are now supplemented with shocker absorbing bumpers and dampers. Compared to the business-rugged casings that may be hard plastic or metal, the semi-rugged tend to be all metal. This grade of protection is suitable for mobile data collection in the oil and gas industry while the category below suits all harsh conditions.
Fully rugged – Maximum grade protection is required for mobile data collection systems operating under harsh field conditions. Harsh field conditions include extreme heat, extreme pressure and large instances of transportation. VDC Research explains fully rugged requirements further: “Created for the most hazardous environments, these notebooks feature a specification of IP-54 or greater, comply with relevant MIL-STD-810F environmental tests and are constructed with the most sophisticated technologies for antenna pass-throughs, casing and reinforcements. These systems are often UL-1604 certified, allowing them to be used in hazardous environments such as oil and gas. A sub category of fully rugged is ultra-rugged computers (at least IP-64, fully sealed with MIL-STD-461E specification).” Once this level of protection is acquired, working within the oil and gas field is not a problem at all.
Whether you are a CTO or not, the above article is informative when learning more about furnishing an organization’s mobile data collection hardware. In addition to the seeking commercial-grade, business-rugged and semi-rugged devices, check out COMMAND Mobile to learn more about state-of-the-art software packages. Equip your company with top of the line software and hardware.