The digital evolution is transforming every aspect of our world, disrupting traditional business models and changing the way many organizations — and their end customers — are operating. For example, the explosive growth of e-commerce has created tremendous pressure on retailers, distribution centers and logistics companies, forcing them to deliver orders faster and more cost-effectively than ever before. At the same time, increases in shipping rates and challenges with delivery capacity have driven e-commerce retailers to find new ways to manage costs and optimize inventory.
In addition, companies and their workers in distribution centers or in the field are demanding advanced access on their mobile devices and the ability to quickly and easily capture critical data in an intuitive way. This creates opportunity — for applications, data management and insights — but also forces enterprises to ensure solutions they invest in are user-friendly, improve productivity and are future-proof.
Today, Many Mobile Enterprise Solutions Fall Short
To be successful today, companies across the supply chain need to mobilize their business and workers to optimize and connect their environments for greater efficiencies and productivity. However, developing and deploying mobile solutions can be a tremendous and ongoing challenge, particularly for companies with relatively complex supply chain operations.
The deluge of mobile devices and applications written for these devices across these enterprises can be time and cost intensive for enterprise IT departments to manage and maintain. This is particularly true, since mobile solutions built on separate technology platforms require IT to spend additional time to certify and provision business applications across each device, as well as for each operating system version.
Furthermore, the impending sunset of the current Windows Embedded Handheld and Windows CE operating systems that power many mobile devices used in distribution centers, puts additional pressure on businesses to migrate to new operating systems in a smart and seamless way. Android adoption is currently on the rise, as enterprises are attracted to the enterprise security, reliability, and strong performance and management features that Android offers. However, each new operating system version typically requires a lengthy and costly certification process, and businesses cannot afford to wait.
To add to that, many mobility solutions lack the flexibility to evolve as organizational needs change. This can be very challenging given the many pressures and disruptions companies face today, forcing them to constantly evolve. For example, a few years ago companies could deploy a mobile solution and keep it around for seven to 10 years with great results. But because companies today need to adapt rapidly to the ever-changing demands of their customer, the competition and various market dynamics, they need to be able to quickly pivot and move. Their mobile solutions have to follow and evolve quickly.
Closing the Gap
But how can enterprises manage that in an efficient manner? A simple upgrade in technology is not enough today to address the challenges of deploying and managing too many incompatible devices that perform different functions for different users. At the same time, companies can no longer afford to manage one device, one development or one deployment at a time.
To manage their mobile infrastructure effectively, companies need to take a more comprehensive and scalable approach. Imagine being able to take advantage of technology that lets you quickly set up new devices, as well as accelerate development, certification and deployment of business-critical software applications that increase data capture speed and improve communications for maximum efficiency, productivity and workforce mobility. And to accomplish all this, without sacrificing security, reliability, performance and, of course, the management features you need to run your business.
Today, businesses need a unified hardware and software platform that is designed for Android and can help them effectively deploy multiple mobile devices, such as rugged handheld computers, wearable devices, voice-directed technology, tablets and vehicle-mounted computers, and different solutions across their enterprise once. This not only gives them the flexibility, robust performance, security and life cycle options they need out of their devices, but it also has the potential to maximize their investment and reduce the pain, frustration and high cost that comes along with managing those devices over a long period of time.
With such a robust capability at the core of a company’s mobility infrastructure, the opportunities for its business are truly endless, as companies can now better connect their mobile workers, efficiently manage their productivity tools and minimize the total cost of ownership of their technology investments.
Lisa London is vice president of marketing and offering management, productivity products, for Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions.