Why is failure rate of your organization’s mobile devices important to look at? The reason is because those devices are intricately connected to your business’ workflow and if the device fails, there is disruption. 

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If I have 3,000 devices in the field, what is my overall failure rate and potential lost productivity? Hypothetical scenario, with 3,000 devices in the field, trying to measure failure and the impact of failure. It really depends on a number of factors. First and foremost, what type of device are you using and what the environment of the workflow is? On average, for a ruggedized device in a field-based workflow, we’re looking at failure rates in the low to mid-single digits, annual failure rates. For a non-ruggedized device supporting a similar application in a say a utility type of field service workflow or perhaps a delivery driver, we’ve seen failure rates that on average are around probably 20 percent or high teens but can go all the way to 60 to 80 percent. So, we have seen significant rates of failure and again what are we defining as failure is also important. Is it physical failure to the device, is it failure of the application, failure from a network performance standpoint? So, there is different ways to measure it.  

One of the biggest challenges again looking at sort of that consumer versus non-consumer class of device is once I get past that first year, especially with a lot of consumer devices or consumer smartphones today, you don’t have the ability to replace the battery. Once you get past that first year of use you see pretty significant erosion in terms of battery quality, an ability for a battery to sustain a life or to sustain power, where you’re getting less than a shift worth of battery life. Is that failure? No that’s not necessarily failure but it has an impact to the operation or to the workflow as well in terms in how that device is performing and the potential for it to create significant frustration with that user.  

Also, from the standpoint of support, if a device fails, if you need maintenance on it or need spare parts, they’re just not going to be available. So, failure rates, of any mobile device that’s used for a lot of business applications is an extremely important metric to look at because those devices are intricately connected with the workflow and if the device fails there’s disruption to the workflow, when there’s disruption to the workflow there’s a variety of consequences that happen that impact the business in a very negative way.