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Why Rugged Software Matters for Rugged Hardware

New IT trends surface from time to time but look closely and you’ll notice major advances in software usually follow hardware innovations. Similarly you will find businesses increasingly looking for common hardware and software platforms to support their business functions.

With expectations of reliability and durability of devices going up in the workplace; so has the usage of rugged devices and computers. Reliability concerns range from a technician dropping the device, screen being readable in strong light, touch screens getting wet and so on; which have all led to the increased demand of rugged hardware devices. However with the adoption of rugged hardware the need for a common platform for software has become important. This is because durable and rugged class handheld devices and industrial tablets, such as the Panasonic Toughbook and ToughPad are constantly being used on the front lines of data acquisition and management.

Need for rugged software…

“Rugged software” implies a culture of rapidly evolving the ability to create available, survivable, defensible, secure, and resilient software. Due to evolving business and consumer trends; software is updated frequently along with new software is being introduced faster than ever before; however this evolution dramatically impacts the reliability, safety and security requirements for software requiring it to be Rugged, like never before. Moreover a rugged device predominantly requires reliable software; as they are used in organizations requiring quick and accurate solutions.

Market trends today…

Many experts are of the view that there are a growing number of rugged tablets and rugged handheld devices in the market with Microsoft being the leading operating system for rugged handhelds. However majority of these rugged devices are utilizing previous generation operating systems that are technologically out of date. Though these operating systems may still have several years of availability remaining, the success of current generation operating systems such as Android, iOS and the latest version of Windows remain to be accessed.

With new durable class devices being introduced rapidly; various iOS and Android-based devices are being deployed in growing numbers, but facing challenges. There are limited applications for these operating systems and IT departments are finding it difficult to integrate them into the system. Moreover since iOS and Android devices are designed primarily for consumer use, they make require additions to behave as a ruggedized device. Faced with a lot of ambiguity enterprises are trying to find new devices which can leverage the current line of business applications.

Overall the hardware capabilities and operating systems are being challenged as never before leading towards enterprise dissatisfaction.

Finding a way…

Organizations need to reach their market as fast as possible using the most current devices available. They would ideally prefer a combined hardware and software platform; but in reality the various rugged devices are based on older operating systems or are consumer class devices with new operating systems but lacking features and functionality required for being used in business organizations.

There seems to be a pressing need for integration on rugged software with rugged hardware; along with a common platform for all. For instance most enterprise organizations have a growing mobile workforce, who is using a variety of tablets, smartphones and other handheld devices. While some devices are based on Windows, others on Android and still others on iOS; it is constantly a challenge for the organizations on how to support all these devices which are turning out to be not only time consuming but also draining the resources.

An organization’s overall cost can be lowered by balancing both internal hardware and software designs across multiple platforms, which helps reduce risk when these proven designs are reused. Hence one can say rugged software matters for rugged hardware such as Panasonic Toughbook; to help reduce organization risks.

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