5 Reasons Android Enterprise Devices are Dominating Workforce Mobility
Many enterprise mobility deployments have reached a crossroads—new operating system (OS) options have emerged, increasing the number of available rugged device options. In the past, Windows may have been the clear choice for enterprise mobility, but today the Android OS is becoming the dominant platform.
Research from Venture Development Corp. (VDC) indicates Android’s share of the rugged device space grew from 24 percent in 2015 to 37 percent in 2016, and the number of new Android-based rugged devices has expanded significantly.
With Android enterprise device form factors and accessory packages increasing every quarter—and with the introduction of enterprise tools like Zebra Technologies’ Mobility Extensions (Mx) and LifeGuard—there has never been a better time to embrace Android enterprise solutions.
Form Factors that Break the Mold
The flexibility of the Android OS allows hardware vendors to create innovative new form factors that enable greater functionality than traditional devices. Rugged handheld devices based on Android offer full screen options, and software keypads that enable a variety of on-screen interface options. These devices are also available in smartphone-like form factors that are easy to carry and use. In addition, Android-based handhelds like the Zebra MC3300 provide the option of a physical/tactile keyboard for use cases where this is the optimal device type. There are also Android-based devices for every type of enterprise application, including rugged tablets (like the Zebra ET50/ET55), vehicle mount devices (like the Zebra VC80/VC80x), and baton-style handhelds (like the Zebra TC8000).
Android also works well with Bluetooth headsets and ring scanners used in wearable computing and voice-directed applications in the warehouse, such as those enabled by the Zebra WT6000. Android devices also come with built-in support for near-field communication (NFC) capabilities.
Because of this flexibility, enterprises can easily deploy multiple form factors to optimize productivity of any given workflow. With a standard platform running across those different applications and devices, companies can increase efficiency and maximize their return on investment in the mobile infrastructure.
Early versions of Android were much more consumer-focused and difficult to integrate in enterprise environments. Developers have addressed those issues, building enterprise-ready features directly into their operating system. The Android Enterprise platform, (previously Android for Work) can help enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions providers, like SOTI MobiControl, and enterprise users better manage and secure devices.
Zebra’s Future-Proof Protection
Rugged device manufacturers have also taken the lead in making Android the platform of choice for enterprise deployments. Zebra, for example, can further protect an investment in Android by helping users avoid device obsolescence using tools like Zebra LifeGuard for Android. LifeGuard is a software security solution that can add years of OS security support after consumer support ends, which better matches the longer enterprise hardware lifecycle. This provides enterprise users with a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
Likewise, Zebra Mobility Extensions (Mx) adds a layer of features that makes these devices Android Enterprise-ready. As Android continues to develop and implement these features into the platform, the Mx features can be phased out as needed. Zebra Mx is pre-installed on the mobile devices at no added cost, and provides robust enterprise-class security and manageability. Zebra has also continued to develop Mx to match the breadth of form factors available for deployment.
Integration with MDM/EMM
Older versions of Android were not compatible with widely used mobile device management (MDM) or EMM solutions, which further complicated enterprise integration. Again, developers have addressed this problem and so that Android devices can be used with the MDM/EMM platforms that are critical to a successful deployment. These solutions allow IT managers to secure devices, push out new applications and updates, remotely control the devices for troubleshooting/repair, and lock down any devices that may be lost or stolen.
The increase in form factors available for Android OS, along with Zebra’s commitment to matching security and support to the hardware lifecycle, allows enterprises to easily deploy a full Android-based solution to optimize workflows. Contact the experts at Miles Data help your business select and deploy the right Android enterprise devices for your operation.