The inventions in the field of mobile technologies have disrupted the way several industrial sectors work today. Technology-driven companies depend heavily on enterprise mobility that empowers employees to stay productive, informed and well-communicated all the time to carry on their day-to-day business works with efficiency and accuracy. In this blog, we will specifically try to cover all about rugged devices, which features make them rugged, their business values, unique industry advantages, applications, and usages, as well as ways to manage and secure rugged devices effectively to extract the best benefits out of them. The criticality of rugged devices is well realized by certain industries that employ their field force to work from rugged terrains and difficult weather conditions; which means they need to work with highly durable rugged devices that can withstand extreme weather conditions and physical shocks. Ruggedized devices are resistant to water, moisture, heat, pressure and even sandstorms and blizzards. Let’s dig further about them.
What is a Rugged Device?
Basically, there are 3 kinds of ruggedized devices, namely: semi-rugged, fully-rugged and ultra-rugged. Each company, depending upon its industrial sector, device usage, employee’s nature of work, device user’s day-to-day activities, environmental conditions, and business requirements, decides about the level of ruggedness in the device that will serve the purpose with best results. Ideally, as the name suggests, a rugged device is one that is manufactured keeping in mind the specific business requirements of the clients and the environmental conditions under which the devices would be used. As a matter of fact, rugged devices need to undergo certain certifications to testify their hardiness, durability, and usefulness. Rugged devices are powered with all the right features along with some special capabilities like shock-proof thicker casing, spill-resistant keyboard and so on for improved protection and endurance. On the other hand, fully-rugged devices must come with certain military-grade specifications and certifications, which confirm their strength and capacity to confront the harshest of work and environmental conditions. Similarly, ultra-rugged devices are used for the toughest kinds of usage scenarios.
What Are the 4 Core Benefits of Rugged Devices?
Rugged devices can also be defined as business-purpose resilient devices that are built to offer multiple benefits to the device user, which ultimately adds value to the enterprise operations and profitability. Investing in rugged devices guarantee multiple business returns.
1. Best Multi-Purpose Devices for Shift Workers:
These durable and robust rugged devices are specially built to suit specific enterprise needs and industry demands and are ideally used by multiple employees (working from remote locations) working in different shifts. One of the top rugged device benefits is that they are powered with unique features like replaceable batteries, potent accessories, multi-charging docks and other powerful features that are coherently designed to make the device work perfectly under harsh conditions.
2. Fosters Communication Even in Harsh Conditions:
Being durable inbuilt, rugged devices are the best options for field forces and frontline workers who sometimes work from farfetched locations like construction sites, mine ores, oil and gas fields, shipping cargo units and so on. These executives’ work efficiency, productivity, and accuracy depends on being informed and well-communicated with real-time data and information that drive better decision-making, improved operational effectiveness and process excellence at all levels. Rugged devices help them perform with enhanced precision and competency by allowing them to access and share the right data at the right time with the right people.
3. Ensures High Performance in Tough Situations:
Company-owned rugged devices can leverage Mobile Application Management and Mobile Content Management features provided by an MDM solution, which further makes it seamless for the company IT admin to remotely and securely manage, monitor, distribute and update enterprise apps and company content on managed rugged devices. This enables the device users/mobile workforce to access and utilize apt enterprise information, maintain records, inventory reports, and other bookkeeping activities without the hassles of paperwork.
4. Enhance Customer Experience:
Easy and immediate availability of important enterprise information and inventory data facilitates improved visibility, enhanced decision-making and issue resolution, which definitely add immense value in serving customers better with more prompt and accurate results. Managed ruggedized devices with all the apt features and capabilities make it possible for the frontline and field force workers to effectively engage and interact with customers while meeting their expectations.
Industries That Use Rugged Devices
Owing to their multiple functionalities and mil-grade certified built that makes it almost unbreakable, rugged devices are preferred to be used in several industrial sectors. Find below the top 10 industries where rugged devices are extensively used:
The retail industry sector has witnessed several rugged device use cases wherein executives carry rugged tablets and other rugged handheld devices in the form of rugged mobile point-of-sale devices, scanners, RFID and so on. These rugged devices help them perform a number of tasks like customer service management, procurement and inventory management and payment cycle management with no hassles and maximum efficiency.
Varied kinds of rugged handheld devices like mPOS, scanners, RFID and tablets are used in the entire manufacturing value chain where several executives work at different levels with different responsibilities. These rugged devices empower them to stay connected and informed at all times while carrying on their respective tasks with accuracy, efficiency and full productivity.
3. Oil and Gas:
Executives working in the oil and gas industry spend a considerable amount of time in remote pipeline locations and oil rigs, which are not technology-friendly environments at all. The only devices that are used here are mil-grade certified, compact and feature-rich rugged devices that prove to be useful for tasks like real-time communication, data collection, resource monitoring and other on-site operational tasks that drive business, security and job efficiency.
Workers involved in mining and drilling activities need to carry rugged handheld devices for a myriad of tasks like vehicle and asset tracking, timekeeping, supply delivery, process maintenance and real-time communication and information-sharing with the back office. These rugged devices are meant to withstand tough-most situations like air pressure, heat, and dust and ensure streamlined job operations, reduce data errors and minimize labour costs.
Military forces are bound to use mobile devices on war fields and for several support assignments. These rugged devices are certified against certain mil-grade standards and specifications, which make these devices indestructible under any harsh conditions and extreme weather conditions. These devices with prolonged battery life and hardiest casings are used in remote regions.
Employees in the logistics industry are found using ruggedized tablets that help them access and share important enterprise information about imported and exported goods and items. Portable and durable rugged devices prove to be the best options to keep the logistics workers to stay on top of the supply chain, warehousing and distribution processes and management in toughest environments.
Several frontline healthcare executives and staff are given rugged devices to stay connected with the back office. These rugged devices help them keep track of patient-visitors, solve the general query, communicate in real-time with the caregivers, and manage and monitor ground-level hospital operations to ensure that minute details are being taken care of, to enhance patient experience and engagement.
Ruggedized handheld devices are widely used by restaurant and hotel staff and executives for real-time communication, customer issue resolution, bookkeeping, item and inventory management, room-booking, service management, and record-keeping activities. Being rugged, these devices are low-maintenance in nature and come powered with custom-features that help the users to perform relevant actions with efficiency and precision.
The usage of rugged devices by construction workers is unmistakable. Rugged handheld devices are carried to the fields to store and maintain activity and project blueprints as well as for performing onsite calculations, inventory management tasks, and other operations without the hassles of pen and paper. Usage of rugged devices maintains efficiency while keeping track of work and decreasing operational costs.
Security officers and executives depend heavily on their handheld rugged devices in the form of walkie-talkies, rugged tablets and other rugged handheld devices powered with enduring battery life, ergonomic built user-friendly features, and compactness. These devices always keep them on track of all security incidents while keeping them connected with the entire departmental force at all times.
Why and How to Manage These Rugged Devices?
There is no doubt that the varied usages and advantages of rugged devices are simply disrupting several industrial sectors by introducing simplicity, performance, endurance, cost efficiency, profitability and user-productivity in the management processes. However, one cannot deny that these rugged devices are carrying invaluable enterprise, customer and employee data, and information that if lost, hacked, misplaced or stolen can lead to irreparable business damage and dangers. Moreover, being used by executives who mostly work from remote and far-off locations, rugged devices are more vulnerable than devices used within the office perimeters.
It is more than important to ensure that the company IT teams have total control on these remotely used rugged devices and hence the role of a strong, powerful and robust MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution is unquestionable. A perfect MDM solution enables your company IT admin to remotely manage, monitor and secure these rugged devices by using multiple relevant features and capabilities – such as dynamic user policy application, mobile application management, mobile content management, remote troubleshooting, group message delivery, remote data wipe and device lock, enforcing security policies and so on.
How Scalefusion MDM Manages Rugged Devices
Scalefusion rugged device management doesn’t only empower your IT admin to seamlessly control, manage, monitor and secure your on-field rugged devices, but also utilize certain amazing and unique features and capabilities that enable the IT admin to effortlessly troubleshoot and remediate device issues in real-time, automate routine tasks effortlessly, raise IT tickets, and drive unified enterprise communications amongst device users. We have been relied upon by over 4500 customers from across the world as our product is loved and trusted for its intuitive, context-aware and powerful functionalities, which cannot be matched with any other similar product in the field.