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Looking Beyond Acquisition: Total Cost of Ownership and the Role of Enterprise-Class Devices

A Motorola Solutions Whitepaper


The high cost of using consumer-grade hardware for enterprise-class needs For companies investing in mobile technology, consumer-grade PDAs and smart phones have undeniable appeal. At one-half to one-third the price of enterprise-grade hardware, buyers may be tempted to accept the high failure rate, thinking they would have to replace a consumer-grade device three times over (which feels unlikely) before they could justify the cost of buying a more rugged, enterprise-class device.

This simple analysis can be deceiving — and ultimately expensive. Hardware acquisition and replacement costs pale in comparison to the true costs of a device failure in a business setting. For consumer-grade devices, more than 90% of the total cost of ownership (TCO) comes after the initial hardware purchase (figure 1).1

By far the largest contributors to TCO in a business setting are the lost productivity, and more significantly, the lost revenue opportunities, that result when a mobile device fails. Depending on your industry, a device failure can result in:

  • a second trip to complete a service call, doubling the cost of service
  • a missed sale
  • a delay in payment on goods you’ve delivered
  • gaps in regulatory compliance

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