By Deep Agarwal
In today’s day and age, you would be hard pressed to find someone who is not familiar with a consumer smartphone. The situation is even more widespread in India, which is the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world that reportedly accounts for 30 million smartphone purchases every quarter. By 2021, mobile subscriptions are further expected to increase to 1.4 billion, according to IDC and the Ericsson Mobility Report.
However, even as these devices evolve and improve, they remain delicate and susceptible to damage and hacks. As mobility becomes more pervasive across all industries, there is a need for rugged and enterprise-class smartphones built for challenging environments. These devices can withstand the elements and survive drops and knocks, as well as remain water- and dust- proof, within other important features for business level. More than ever, businesses are realizing that their mobile workers require more than just the connectivity offered by a personal cellphone.
As a country with an abundance of small, developing towns, construction is widespread across India. Therefore, it is imperative that companies adopt computing solutions that are seamless yet tough for usage on the field. According to Zebra’s global Intelligent Enterprise Index, 49 percent of businesses are on the path to becoming intelligent enterprises. These companies are connecting the physical and digital worlds to drive innovation through real-time guidance, data-powered environments and collaborative mobile workflows to reduce costs, automate operations and increase productivity.
Today, more companies are looking to equip their employees with smart mobile devices to gain a performance edge that can elevate the shopping experience, improve patient care or track and manage inventory to improve supply chain efficiency. The need for instant and secure communication, portability of information, aggressive barcode data collection and long device lifecycles are some of the key elements that are positioning enterprise-class smartphones as a pillar of technological transformation in the manufacturing, retail, healthcare and transportation & logistics industries.
According to a study, inventory allocation, reduction in backorders and accepting or managing product returns are just some of the major challenges logistics companies are looking to solve to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction. With an enterprise-class smartphone, mobile workers have multiple tools in one device, providing them with voice and data connectivity, the ability to scan barcodes in any condition and access to business-class apps, utilities and software that can improve security and network access and increase staff collaboration and productivity. Businesses are increasingly using GPS to manage routes and their enterprise-class smartphones not only help with directions but can be used to access real-time information. In addition, most of these devices include a walkie-talkie functionality, which allows instant Push-to-Talk (PTT) calls between compatible devices enabling companies to increase real-time communication and collaboration to improve customer service.
Rugged smartphone designs can withstand extreme temperatures, dust, bumps and accidental drops, leading to greater productivity and reducing repair costs. This is ideal for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that are mindful of their budget and can’t afford significant unexpected repair costs for consumer smartphones.
Lastly, when companies purchase a smartphone for their business, they should look for included security features that protect their data and business-critical information. Companies should be mindful of their devices and ensure that their smartphones and corporate data are not vulnerable to security breaches or risk becoming obsolete when a new operating system is introduced.
(The author is Regional Sales Director, India, Zebra Technologies)