Windows 10 hybrid devices are winning the Enterprise Mobility raceI am seated in a glass-walled cabin, chatting with Craig Davis, an energetic maintenance supervisor at a mid-size manufacturing facility in a town in the UK midlands. While we discuss how Craig brought productivity improvements with mobility, I can’t help but observe the activities on the shop floor through the glass wall. I see operators inspecting equipment and inputting the findings on Win10 mobile work devices, another set of technicians servicing a machine with guided instructions on a ruggedized version of the Win10 device. Overall, I see a fully mobile-enabled, paperless shop floor where the majority of the inspection, recording, maintenance, and communication activities are enabled by a mobile device. Back here in the cabin, Craig quickly detaches his Win10 laptop screen and takes me for a shop floor tour showing the supervisor view on his maintenance app and smilingly says – “this allows me to be with the team while keeping on top of operations”.
The adoption of mobile work devices in industries like Utilities, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Mining etc. has evolved over the last two decades and come back full circle, let’s find out how!
Evolution of mobile ‘work’ devices
- Late 1990-2010
Historically, mobile work devices were introduced in the 2000s mainly to operate in tough working environments like a construction site or an Oil rig. The likes of Panasonic Toughbook devices became popular owing to their ruggedness and suitability in tough working conditions. Ruggedised laptops were heavy to carry and often ended up in sitting in the van while workers used paper to capture data. In addition, the cost of these ruggedised devices was prohibitive and, in some ways, it slowed down the adoption of Enterprise Mobility beyond its core usage.
Ruggedised laptops were followed by the adoption of sleeker, but still powerful, Apple iPads and Android tablets in the period after 2010. They offered a low cost and lighter alternative to ruggedised laptops. Although initially promised as an alternative to Windows laptops, enterprises soon realised that it was not economically viable to migrate all existing windows apps to new iOS/Android devices. In addition, there was no driver for office-based staff to move away from Windows and managing a new OS in enterprise estate had its own challenges. This resulted in mobile workers having to carry three devices – mobile phone, ruggedised laptop and a tablet.
Once Win10 and Office 365 became a success and a lot of organisations migrated to Win10 for office-based staff, Win10 based hybrids like HP-X2 and Surface Pro became a natural choice for enterprises.
Windows 10 hybrids – the dominant mobile work device
To summarise, this is why I believe Win10 hybrids will win the race for enterprise mobility:
● Single work device: Single main work device. No need to carry two, or three, devices.● Win10 success: Adoption of Win10 for office-based staff.● Homogenous enterprise landscape: More and more adoption of Microsoft InTune and Microsoft is the best possible option to manage both office and mobile devices using a single device management platform.● Simplified security: Simplified enterprise class security and authentication to provide access to only authorised users and devices.● Legacy apps migration: For the existing legacy Windows apps on Win32, it is possible to run them in a container without changes.● Flexibility to run on multiple hardware platforms: Windows 10 apps are compatible with ARM and x86 system architecture and processors. Win10 devices are available from many third-party devices manufacturers offering choice and value for money.● Easier to manage and deploy apps: Windows 10 store provides native features to manage the lifecycle of apps across all Windows 10 devices.● Ruggedised options available: In some extreme working environments like military & defense, MIL-STD 810 compliant devices are available.● OS upgrade control: iOS upgrades can’t be controlled by enterprises and this can be difficult to manage especially when business critical apps are deployed. Win10 offers more control over the OS upgrade process.
A mega confluence of productivity apps, mobile work devices and workforce is underway. Productivity gains are right around the corner: are you ready to take advantage?
An example of an Enterprise Mobile app for Asset Management
‘myJobCard’ by On Device Solutions (ODS) is a mobile work and asset management application that integrates with the SAP ERP system out of the box. It is available on Windows 10 hybrids, Android, and iOS devices; however, we have seen maximum adoption on the Win10 platform.
With myJobCard, mobile users can:
– view, update and complete work orders,
– fill forms related to the work orders,
– upload and download attachments for Work Orders and more…
To empower your company with mobile work and asset management solutions, please get in touch with us today.