After business leaders have presented what they need, the IT team is probably going to be the department that has the most say in the devices that are purchased. This blog presents the compelling case for purpose-built enterprise devices.
Knowing what you need from a mobile device and getting it are two very different things. Once you have taken the time to analyze your requirements you are often still faced with a key choice: Consumer-grade devices or purpose-built enterprise devices.
Here are five reasons enterprise devices win out every time:
Prevent Security Breaches
Consumer-grade devices come with operating systems that often fall short of enterprise security requirements. In one study, more than half of the companies surveyed reported a security breach as a result of a consumer device. With Bring Your Own Device policies, often the responsibility for security lies with the individual. This is unacceptable if your organization must comply with government regulations or risk stiff penalties.
Lower Replacement Costs
Consumer-grade devices have shorter lifecycles (typically 6-12 months rather than three years for enterprise devices). This means you will need to buy new devices at least every year, not to mention new accessories.
There are also hidden costs. Extra training costs, as you have to develop new videos, Q&As and operating procedures. If consumer devices are not durable enough for your work environment, you will also need to pay for a spares pool or the regular replacements when they break.
Features Designed for Business
Consumer-grade devices cannot always provide you with the features your users need. If they work long shifts or full days offsite then they need long-life batteries or the ability to swap in replacements (unheard of for consumer devices).
Will you get consistent, high-quality connections from high-powered radios, seamless roaming between access points, support for 802.11a and enterprise-class 5 GHz Wi-Fi? And what about rapid scanning, even for poorly printed bar codes? Or a system that can integrate PBX telephony with Wi-Fi so your users don’t have to carry around a separate device, like a walkie-talkie?
Free Up IT Resources
Consumer-grade devices do not support enterprise-class mobile device management (MDM). Without it, your IT team will have to physically touch every device for everything from set-up to trouble-shooting.
And with BYOD, dealing with the issues from a multitude of applications running over your network (from security issues to bandwidth) will add costs. It will also reduce the amount of time IT can spend on more important projects.
Access to Technical Support
Consumer-grade devices often require extra IT support. Even if your users have access to a consumer support package, it is likely to mean lengthy wait times when devices have to be sent off and then returned. Enterprise mobile device manufacturers recognize that this kind of downtime is not an option.
Instead of placing the onus on the IT team, enterprise support services can cover all your devices—for everything from normal wear and tear to accidental breakage. You can opt for overnight replacements. You can even add planning, implementing and running your mobile devices so you can concentrate IT time elsewhere.
For more information on choosing the right hardware for your business, request a consultation with a Radley expert.
 Avanade survey of 600+ IT decision makers, 2012