Understanding The Real Business Cost When Mobile Devices Fail

Understanding The Real Business Cost When Mobile Devices Fail

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Businesses looking to improve productivity must consider the use of mobile devices and apps as essential tools. From smartphones to tablets, these devices provide employees with the ability to communicate, collaborate, and access critical data from anywhere, at any time. However, when these devices fail, it can result in significant costs for the business.

The consequences of device failure can include lost productivity, decreased revenue, and increased downtime. These disruptions can be caused by various factors, such as accidental drops, exposure to extreme temperatures, and wear and tear from daily use. To mitigate the risk of device failure, some businesses are turning to rugged mobile devices instead of regular ones.

In this article, we will explore why businesses should consider using rugged devices instead of regular ones. We will also discuss the importance of total cost of ownership (TCO) for businesses. By the end of this article, readers will understand the real business cost of mobile device failure and why investing in rugged mobile devices can be a smart choice for many organisations.

The Case for Rugged Devices

Mobile devices have become a critical part of many business operations. However, regular consumer devices may not always be suitable for harsh environments or high-impact work scenarios. This is where rugged devices come in. Rugged devices are designed to withstand tough conditions and are more durable and reliable than regular mobile devices.

Rugged mobile devices are typically built with reinforced materials that can withstand falls, extreme temperatures, water exposure, and dust. They also have a higher ingress protection (IP) rating, meaning they can resist water and dust penetration better than regular mobile devices. In addition to their durable construction, rugged devices have other features that make them suitable for harsh environments, such as high-visibility displays for use in bright sunlight, long battery life, and integrated barcode scanners.

Compared to regular mobile devices, rugged devices have a higher upfront cost, but they offer several advantages that can result in long-term cost savings. For example, rugged mobile devices have a longer lifespan than regular mobile devices, meaning businesses will need to replace them less frequently. They are also less likely to fail due to accidental drops or exposure to the elements, meaning businesses will experience fewer disruptions and avoid costly repairs or replacements.

Furthermore, rugged devices can be especially beneficial in industries such as construction, logistics, and manufacturing, where devices are subjected to high-impact work scenarios and harsh environmental conditions. In these industries, rugged mobile devices can provide employees with the tools they need to work efficiently and accurately, even in challenging conditions.

The durability and reliability of rugged mobile devices make them an attractive option for businesses looking to minimise the risk of mobile device failure and reduce long-term costs. By investing in rugged mobile devices, businesses can ensure that their mobile devices can withstand tough conditions and provide employees with the tools they need to work efficiently and accurately.

Types of Mobile Device Failure

In a typical business setting, mobile devices are used for a range of tasks, such as making phone calls, sending text messages, accessing the internet, and processing calculations. They are an excellent tool for improving productivity because they ensure portability and mobility. However, while the functionality of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets cannot be undermined, they can also cause major issues in your operations over time.

According to a study published in, regular consumer devices are likely to fail three times more than rugged devices. Unfortunately, most companies still have not moved their operations to use rugged devices. Understanding the real cost of mobile device failure is a critical business move, as devices that fail can cause issues such as work interruption and dissatisfied customers.

The real cost of electronic device failure for businesses can actually be higher than the cost of the device itself. As a result, unusable devices can have a devastating effect on business operations. Here are some common reasons why devices may fail or not function at work.

Devices Overheating

Overheating smartphones are a common workplace issue that many businesses experience, especially in organisations that need to continually use the device. Unfortunately, device overheating can have serious consequences on productivity, as it can easily stop work since workers do not have a way to access their devices.

Poor Wireless Performance

Connectivity is a crucial function, especially if your business is constantly operating in the field. Nowadays, with the tremendous growth of delivery and courier services, drivers and couriers need to be constantly connected to the software. However, even though most areas are now equipped with a range of internet connectivity options, some devices may not be able to take advantage of it. Rugged devices are equipped with 3G, 4G, WiFi and more to ensure a connection is always available.

Furthermore, in the public safety sector, poor connectivity can cause anywhere between 28 – 30 minutes of delayed response. In many cases, this can mean life or death for rescue workers or the police force when performing their duty. Rugged devices ensure that device failure is minimised, thereby providing uninterrupted connectivity in critical situations.

Limited Durability

Regular consumer mobile devices are not as durable as rugged mobile devices. When used in areas where they are constantly exposed to elements like dust, water or high temperature, their lifespan reduces over time. Regular Android or Apple phones are not designed to perform in areas such as manufacturing factories or mining sites, causing them to fail more quickly. These constant mobile failures lead to poor productivity and a negative customer experience.

The Impact of Mobile Device Failure in Industries

Mobile device failures can result in a range of issues for businesses, including significant financial losses. The impact of such failures can be seen in various areas such as:

Loss of Productivity: Hardware failure can collectively cost businesses over 127 million person-hours annually, resulting in lost productivity.

Downtime Costs: Businesses can incur an annual downtime cost of at least $46 million due to mobile device failure.

IT Infrastructure Downtime Costs: The cost of downtime for IT infrastructure can range between USD $84,000 and $108,000 per hour, leading to significant financial losses for businesses.

Computer Downtime Costs: Computer downtime can cost businesses up to $42,000 per hour, according to research leader Gartner.

System Downtime Costs: One in every five businesses may lose $13,000 per hour due to system downtime.

Business Interruptions

The cost of business interruptions can sometimes be overlooked, but it is essential for companies to understand how they can affect operations over time. When mobile devices are not working, it can take some time to fix the problem and reconnect them to the server. According to a study by UC Irvine, it takes an average of 23 minutes for employees to refocus on their tasks.

Considering Total Cost Of Ownership

One of the reasons why many businesses still avoid using rugged devices is due to their high initial cost. However, considering the potential losses mentioned above, it’s important to consider investing in a mobile solution that offers more value than just acquisition costs. Typical consumer devices usually last only 1-2 years before requiring replacement or frequent visits to technicians. In contrast, rugged devices have a lifespan of 3-5 years, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Improved Battery Life

Rugged devices provide the advantage of excellent battery life, enabling them to work for an entire shift and deliver real productivity. In contrast, most consumer devices do not offer optimal battery performance, requiring frequent recharging. Rugged devices stand out due to their longer battery lifespan, allowing them to perform well even through multiple shifts on a single charge.


Rugged devices are equipped with a variety of connectivity options, which is especially beneficial when working in remote areas. For instance, the Conker NS10 offers Wi-Fi and optional mobile broadband, providing great value to your mobile solutions. Furthermore, rugged devices with efficient operating systems like Windows 10 can significantly enhance your team’s productivity.

Hardware Durability

A key feature of a genuine rugged device is its hardware durability. Unlike relying on a third-party “rugged” case, a truly rugged device is built with the appropriate ports, screens, and hinges that offer protection for the entire device. This guarantees that every component of your mobile device operates optimally.

Conker Rugged Devices

Conker is a UK-based company that offers rugged mobile devices for businesses in various industries. Our devices are designed to withstand harsh environments, such as those found in construction sites, manufacturing facilities, and warehouses.

Conker’s devices are built with durability in mind, with features such as reinforced screens, water and dust resistance, and drop resistance. This makes them an ideal choice for businesses that require their devices to perform reliably in challenging conditions.

In addition to their ruggedness, Conker’s devices also come equipped with a range of features to enhance productivity, such as long battery life, multiple connectivity options, and compatibility with Windows 10.

Conker offers a variety of devices to suit different business needs, including tablets, smartphones, and handheld computers. We also provide a range of services to support their products, including device management, repair, and replacement.

Let one of our experienced consultants assist you with finding the right rugged device for your business. Get in touch today.

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Conal McGuirk

Conal McGuirk

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