In our August 13th post, we discussed the tests that devices must endure to be labeled rugged and provided a white paper from Motorola with more information. Today I’d like to compare the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of rugged devices and commercial devices. Although rugged devices may have a higher purchase price than commercial devices, hardware failures and resulting downtime are common occurrences for enterprises using non-rugged devices outside their intended application. It’s important to look beyond just the purchase price and focus on the expected life of the device and the environment it will be used in.
According to Venture Development Corporation (VDC), the expected failure rate of commercial handhelds compared to rugged devices can be as high as 4 to 1. In addition they also found that downtime for mobile workers using commercial devices can be as much as 48% higher than for rugged users. Device failures lead to lost productivity, a decrease in customer satisfaction and will have a significant impact on ROI. Because commercial devices are designed for use in non-rugged office environments they lack rugged features, this can dramatically shorten their life span and add to the total cost of ownership. Rugged devices on the other hand are designed for use in the field and boast features that will extend their life span. According to the VDC’s Total Cost of Ownership study, rugged devices have a lower total cost of ownership over a 5 year period.