The mobile computing market has grown increasingly complex, with multiple form factors, operating systems, an endless array of applications, different wireless options, and constantly evolving technology. The typical approach that many enterprises have taken to mobile deployments – in which solutions were rolled out piecemeal by different departments, with a variety of hardware and software solutions patched together over time – has become unmanageable.

There is a way to reduce unnecessary internal and external costs in mobile deployments by adopting a platform-centric approach and selecting hardware designed with a long lifecycle as well as future-proof flexibility in mind. This can be accomplished in a number of ways.

Simplify Device Platforms

One way to greatly reduce deployment and ongoing support costs is to standardize on a common device platform. That does not mean to standardize on a single device – it simply means that you should select an operating system and mobility platform that is common across multiple form factors.

While the various versions of mobile Windows used to be the go-to platform for rugged mobile deployments, that is no longer the case. Android has emerged as the new standard for these installations, and major rugged device manufacturers now offer Android-based devices in handheld, smartphone, tablet, vehicle-mount and other form factors.

This provides commonality across all form factors. This platform-based approach is designed for rapid and easy application development, as well as testing, certification, provisioning, and deployment management.

For example, Honeywell’s Mobility Edge suite of tools allows companies to develop, validate and update applications on time and then go-live with the apps across all form factors simultaneously. This replaces the past approach of validating each application against every form factor individually, and then updating one device at a time – a process that was both time- and labor-intensive.

Mobility Edge also helps keep these deployments secure, by supporting multiple versions of the Android operating system, and providing ongoing update and patch management for years beyond standard offerings from other providers.

The platform-centric approach also reduces wasted labor and IT resources by streamlining development and support requirements in a way that makes it much easier and less expensive to create and maintain new mobile solutions.

Accelerated Deployment Reduces Costs

Taking a unified approach to mobile deployments can accelerate the entire process. Longer deployments cost more, take longer to certify, and can eat up scarce IT resources. This not only increases the backlog of mobile applications that require certification and testing, but can also result in a flurry of invoices for multiple suppliers.

By standardizing on Android and a platform like Mobility Edge, the entire process can be simplified (there are fewer vendors to deal with) and be completed much faster. As a result, the return on investment (ROI) for the mobility solution is also accelerated.

Mobility Edge also helps organizations design their mobile deployment with the future in mind. Devices can be rolled out faster and with less risk. IT staff wont’ be tied up managing the mobile deployment, and the devices themselves are built to support future iterations of Android as well as imminent application upgrades and patches.

Because Honeywell’s mobility products are designed around a common chipset, end users benefit from an extended device lifecycle, seamless operating system upgrades, and multiple years of support for security updates. Upgrading to newer devices or other form factors down the road is easy, because the platform remains consistent.

An ad hoc approach to mobility using multiple devices, operating systems, and solution providers can make mobile solution deployment and support more expensive and time consuming than they need to be. A standardized, platform-centric approach will reduce costs and make it easier to support and keep your mobile devices up to date for years to come.