Rugged Mobile Computers vs. Consumer Computers: The debate continues.

There have been numerous articles published on the advantages of rugged mobile computing devices over consumer grade machines.  Most articles dive right into the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) showing rugged mobile computers are less expensive after you consider the higher failure rate, device availability, change management and other issues with consumer gear.

Even with these articles clearly stating the benefits - especially for healthcare, manufacturing, and retail industries - it seems many folks have ended up using a consumer device, like an iPad.  This can sometimes happen because someone in Management made an uninformed decision (without Information Technology’s blessing).  Rarely do folks stop and closely look at the hardware requirements based on the use cases and carefully select the right tool the first time.  This is an expensive mistake, and will require some organizations to either replace equipment with rugged mobile computers or try to modify a consumer grade computer to simulate the best solution.

Consequently, a lot of lessons have been learned over the last few years with stories of success and failure.  What is your story?

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