Consumer-grade devices can provide an intuitive, reliable solution to keep workforces connected and operating at top efficiency. Many feel this is a natural fit as these devices are familiar to team members and customers alike, which can reduce onboarding and increase productivity. This is especially helpful when working against a labor shortage where you need employees to operate as efficiently as possible.
While this strategy has been widely embraced, only those who invest, plan, and optimize their business and IT strategy see success from it. IT asset management procedures are essential to reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) and downtime as much as possible. Following a systematic approach to protecting and supporting company-owned devices can serve your team for years to come and maximize your investment in these mobile solutions.
Ruggedized Cases & Accessories for Device Protection
Smartphones and tablets designed for personal use are less rugged than commercial-grade devices. Buttons and displays can be damaged, charging points might wear and fail, and water damage can wreak havoc. In business settings, research shows that 16% of consumer-grade devices fail due to environmental stress, resulting on average in more than an hour of downtime. But you can minimize downtime by taking a few steps to prepare these devices for enterprise usage.
The first step is protecting the device itself. Rugged cases and screen protectors can help reduce damage. Ideally, look for screen protectors made of Gorilla Glass or similar high-quality materials to help reduce screen cracks. While most screen protectors don’t cause sensitivity loss in touch screens, generic screen protectors and protectors that are applied incorrectly limit screen responsiveness. Similarly, cracked screen protectors cause devices to suffer dampened screen sensitivity, making it difficult to complete tasks. Tethered and stand-alone styluses provide a great tool to help get work done quickly and efficiently.
Protect devices from loose particles, dust, spills, and liquid damage by sourcing cases that shield power ports and any accessory jacks, while allowing the ability to access these features when needed. Similarly, cases with button covers can help protect device longevity and reduce breakage. This can also limit device controls strategically in many different business environments. Use cases for limiting device controls might be:
- Shared devices in the warehouse
- Retail cycle count devices
- Healthcare monitoring devices
When choosing company owned device accessories, only add items that make daily tasks easier and can protect devices from routine wear and tear. Holsters, specialized bags or carriers, and vehicle mounts can also be a good way to protect devices in transit to reduce dropping. Additionally, wrist straps are another great accessory that can help users ergonomically grip their devices and reduce accidental drop incidents.
Mitigating Problems with Managed Mobility Services
Regardless of whether you choose consumer-grade devices or ruggedized options, a mobile device management (MDM) partner can help keep your hardware solutions secure and configured correctly. MDM has evolved over the years to become part of broader endpoint management solutions (UEM) but many IT professionals continue to deploy discrete MDM solutions. Leading MDM providers like SOTI, Mobile Iron, and VMWare/AirWatch support a variety of consumer grade devices in addition to rugged handsets. Our MDM partners provide a robust set of tools for configuration, diagnostics, deployment, and day-2 management for any of your devices.
Hiring a full-time MDM administrator is prohibitively expensive considering they are only required for updates and changes to applications and profiles. Using dedicated MDM management partners to deliver the most value and are a more affordable option for most business needs.
The remote access feature of MDM platforms allows the MDM administrator to take control of an end user’s device for troubleshooting, diagnostics and remediation. This ability can result in a great deal of savings when troubleshooting devices. As an example, for 50 device tickets, and with conservative estimates of 30 minutes saved per device, businesses can save up to 25 hours of troubleshooting time. Senior management and productivity experts monitor this data very closely as it can be a huge cost savings.
Why Should You Outsource MDM?
An annual turnover rate of 13.2% for IT employees is a top reason by itself to consider allocating additional outside resources to maintain device management platforms. For more than half of the companies in a recent survey (53%), MDM is either fully or partially outsourced. Additionally, keep in mind that a majority of smaller organizations are more likely to outsource management than larger companies, likely due to limited internal IT expertise to manage and secure devices.
Less Downtime With Fast Service and Spare Depots
When devices go down, having a managed mobility services provider to help troubleshoot the issues and get operations back up and running is crucial. Whether you handle your device servicing in-house or trust a repair and hardware depot provider, you should have an efficient and clear process to report, fix, and reinstate devices into your workflow.
DecisionPoint offers our clientele complete depot services and Spare-in-the-Air service as part of our proactive maintenance of your IT assets. If we get an alert that one of your devices needs service, we will work with you and, if necessary, ship a replacement the same day. We’ll even ensure that it arrives before you send your device in for service, so your team has little to no downtime while the device is being repaired.
Having additional devices on hand or a provider with same-day spare availability can go a long way toward reducing downtime. Choosing a provider that can support your devices and keep downtime to a minimum will save money in the long run with lower TCO, fewer support tickets, and less security risk.
The Case for Consumer-Grade Tech in the Workplace
Protecting your tablets, phones, and mobile devices all comes down to a few IT asset management best practices. Follow these tips and work with a professional support team that can provide lifecycle management services to get the longest life span and the lowest TCO on your mobile devices.
Ready to partner with a trusted mobility services provider? Get in touch, we have all the services you need.