Government Mobility: Achieving the Lowest TCO

Mobile technology is changing today’s workforces in both the private and public sectors. The Department of Defense (DoD) is increasingly turning to mobile devices to help service members become more productive by allowing them to stay connected and access critical information wherever their job may take them. According to an AOL Government survey of 300 federal managers, about half of the respondents indicated that a government employee would gain at least seven hours of productivity per week if they had access to mobile technology while on the job.

For these reasons, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens has a goal of putting a tablet computer in every sailor’s hand. This shift in technology on the job speaks volumes to the enormous benefits mobile devices provide government.

However, it’s still important to make smart choices to get the lowest TCO possible. In a recent white paper with Defense Systems, we took a look at how agencies can find the right mobile computing solution while maximizing productivity and achieving the lowest TCO.

To do this, agencies should keep in mind the following best practices:

  1. Don’t settle for a cheaper consumer-grade device. Although consumer-grade tablets may have a lower sticker price initially, an enterprise-grade device will provide investment lower total cost of ownership when measured across the lifetime of the device. Enterprise-grade devices are more durable for extreme environments, more feature-packed and are easy to integrate into an existing infrastructure. Consumer grade devices aren’t designed to meet the strict security requirements of the DoD, nor are they as durable or reliable on the job. These devices need to be replaced more often, which can disrupt workflows, lower productivity and could even lead to mission failure. Enterprise-grade devices with MIL-STD-810G and IP ratings are guaranteed to withstand a range of abuse and environmental conditions, giving them a longer lifespan and ultimately saving your agency money. They also come with features like GPS, barcode scanning, HD cameras, VPN, WAN and Wi-Fi, or those features can be easily added, while consumer grade tablets come with a set of non-configurable standard features. Consider the features that are most important to your workers and the environment in which they will need their device to perform.
  2. Take an enterprise-wide approach. Agencies should have a goal of assigning one device per person for all job functions, from the office to the battlefield. You cannot realize your maximum return on investment if you purchase mobile devices for specific projects, missions or commands. The entire organization should be part of the mobility plan to ensure greater control over security, more efficient IT support and streamlined management. Taking this approach allows organizations to significantly streamline lifestyle management. With enterprise-grade devices, customizable features allow your workers to use their device for all of their different job functions.
  3. Select a Windows-based platform. Windows platforms provide optimal features for defense agencies. With rugged designs, glove-sensitive touch screens, hot-swappable batteries and integrated RFID, these platforms make government jobs easier. Windows-based devices are easier to secure, because they can use an agency’s existing policies for the enterprise Windows platform. This helps avoid integration challenges and protects valuable data. Application development takes less time and is easier than development on other platforms. Making integration of your mobile solution easier for your organization will save valuable time and avoid frustration.

To learn more about the ways your organization can achieve the lowest TCO with a mobility solution, read the full white paper, Achieving Maximum Productivity and the lowest TCO with Mobility. And for more information on Panasonic’s line of enterprise-grade mobile computers, visit Panasonic Toughpad.