Putting Real Numbers Behind Mobile Device TCO

The success of any mobility project will always be driven by more than just price, but this type of personalized, like-for-like, and holistic assessment is an ideal starting point. By Zebra Technologies

June 1, 2017

The Workforce Mobility Revolution is well underway and the landscape is no longer static. Devices, operating systems and configurations are constantly changing. Field service workers, DSD drivers and Parcel Courier/Postal drivers need devices that are intuitive and can continue to support them as workflows change.

These factors combine to create a big challenge for all field teams. Should they select and then customize consumer-oriented devices, or go with purpose-built enterprise devices?

A winning game plan for greater productivity, efficiency and value will need careful consideration. So how can you be sure you’re picking the best possible devices while maximizing your long-term mobile technology investment?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have real numbers to examine before purchasing? The good news is that new tools have been created to do just that—giving you a way to analyze Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and make real-world comparisons in far greater detail than before.

A Real-World checklist
Two of the world’s foremost analyst firms, VDC and Gartner®, have reached a similar conclusion that serves as a useful starting point for the TCO exercise. They agree that the costs of deploying consumer mobile devices that are then customized to suit line of business applications are almost always higher than those purpose-built for enterprise mobility.

VDC data, for example, shows that the total price tag could be at least 51% higher for the consumer device. Yet, even with extensive research confirming such a huge disparity, only about one third of businesses have undertaken TCO analysis for their mobile developments according to

David Krebs, VP for Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices, VDC. “It has been very difficult to do this well, but that is changing,” he said. One barrier has been the lack of assessment tools. Another has been the myth that the cost of hardware is the actual cost. In fact, TCO for any mobile deployment must take into account far more than just device expenditure.

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