10 Common Mistakes in Mobile Projects – Mistake #3
Welcome back to the “10 common mistakes…” guide, and today we dig into some more technical stuff with some hardware considerations, but before we begin:
Previously in “10 common mistakes…”:
About the guide: 10 Common Mistakes You Can Avoid When Selecting and Deploying a Mobile Solution
Mistake #3: Selecting the wrong mobile device:
Ever saw a technical expert gets all excited about a new gadget? Excitement leads to mistake number 3, and here’s how you can prevent it from happening:
Mobile devices are not just a piece of hardware such as a desktop. They are an integral part of the overall solution because they affect the way employees will use the system (for example: PDA’s are much more portable than laptops and more likely to be closer to the user and constantly connected. However, laptops will allow more usability and more capabilities when using advanced applications).
Today’s mobile world offers a lot of options from laptops tablets and toughbooks, to netbooks, UMPCs, mini-tablets, all the way to PDAs, rugged EDAs, smartphones, cell-phones, pagers, or… pigeons…(?!)
With so many options, devices cannot be selected randomly based on a trend or a preference of one of the technical experts. It should be selected carefully by addressing 3 important questions:
- The nature of the working environment
- The nature of the business
- The nature of the mobile software
When defining the solution requirements, pay attention to the working environment: is it mostly outside? is it mostly inside the vehicle? are we talking about a person moving from one office to another or a user that is mostly working in difficult conditions?
The nature of the business is not just part of the application: if your organization requires a constantly connected software, because updates and emergencies are happening all the time, then you also need a mobile device that will support such kind of requirements.
Lastly, know what is required from the mobile software that will eventually be implemented. It can dictate the type of device: if your field workers will eventually modify maps, fill complicated inspection reports and use diagnostic tools – all directly from the field – you need a strong device that will be able to support all of those applications running in parallel.
But selecting the form factor is not enough these days, you also need to think about the operating system. Stay tuned with some more Mobile Operating System tips to be published here at Mobilefever very soon.
Tip#3: Do not let IT executives dictate the device selection if they do not fit the business needs, and whatever you do – do NOT select the mobile devices before selecting the software – it may narrow down your alternatives in the future, or worse – it may not be optimal for your software.
I am always surprised to see organizations looking for a mobile application AFTER they have already picked and ordered the mobile devices. With so many alternatives, form factors and operating systems – not every software application can run on any device. It’s important to keep all options available and determine the hardware and software together.