Remember the first iPhone, the first Android phone, or even the first application you downloaded? Neither do I!
Fact is, we live in such a high-paced world so full of technology and change that we need to really look at the impact of our decisions. At CLS we focus a great deal of resources on technology planning and research. What used to be a pragmatic, highly-predictable market known as Fleet Management is now a component to a larger mobile strategy, and that strategy can be a catalyst to success or a straight line to failure. For example we know that smart devices are winning in enterprise and that more and more convergence is happening between consumer technology and enterprise applications.
As an example, the broadband data networks offered by companies like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint are changing to improve speeds and capacity based on all the smart device demand. Well, the impact here is one that's important to understand. What happens to that EOBR or OBC you've been using for years, during this migration? Are you prepared? What impact will it have on your operation?
Another example, the evolving mobile operating system. As enterprises look for alternatives to meet market and employee demand, the shift from Windows Mobile to Android and iOS is overwhelming. This trend has the major enterprise device manufacturers building more product on Android (as Apple won’t share). In fact, all major providers of rugged displays, handhelds and tablets all have several Android models in production. The issue is your Enterprise Mobile Applications—do they operate on Android? Will the interfaces be the same? Can you support such a transition? Can your technology providers afford such a re-write?
The fact is, change is here, and it’s here to stay. The days of purchasing decisions being made once every 8 to 10 years are over. Even if you can find the most rugged device that can withstand the elements and user abuse, will the network still be supported for the modem inside it? What’s after Android?
So the advice I give to you is: do your research or hire someone to do it for you. Don’t buy old and predictable, it’s not flattering.