I recently came across the CIO Insight study, “Top Hardware Spending Priorities for 2009,” which found that 79% of companies are budgeting for PCs in 2009, despite the overall slowdown of I.T. spending. If your enterprise is considering purchasing a mobile PC, it’s critical to consider Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Return on Investment (ROI). Obviously, the goal is to keep TCO low and ROI high – this will keep your mobile workers productive and ongoing operation costs low.
A critical element of the TCO/ROI equation is failure rates. A 2008 PC Magazine reader survey reported that 24 percent of business laptops had some form of hardware failure last year. This means that companies investing in mobile computers need to have more devices in inventory to replace failures and a larger IT staff to support these devices. Failures also equate to down time and lost business, negating the value of having a mobile workforce.
Warranties are another key consideration, with the average laptop accompanied by a single year warranty with the option of upgrading to a multi year contract. Even with the high failure rates of most business grade laptops, most companies are not deploying for a single year, so the one year warranty does not cut it. It is important to look for devices that offer a warranty that is in line with the deployment cycle of the product and that will provide support until the device has paid for itself. Three years is a good time frame to consider, although many Panasonic customers maintain our solutions for upwards of five years; significantly driving down TCO and increasing ROI.
There are other considerations to make as well, including battery life, integrated versus external mobile broadband solutions, shock mounted hard drives and spill resistant keyboards. If you are trying to get the most out of your mobile technology investment and minimize support costs, durability, connectivity, financing options and battery life should be key considerations.
Companies evaluating mobile devices need to clearly look at the price versus cost question, factoring in the costs associated with the device through the entire deployment. As a result, your mobile employees will be happier and more productive, your IT department will be less strained and your bottom line will absolutely see the difference.
With reliable, long deployments, low single digit failure rates, industry leading wireless solutions, exceptional battery life, three year standard warranties and attractive financing options, Toughbook mobile computers are a good solution for companies taking a serious look at both TCO and ROI.