Don’t get us wrong, we’re not advocating ditching tablets in preference for other handheld devices or laptops in the field – but what Sarah Howland, editor-in-chief, Field Technologies Online, found recently was that not all field service executives are embracing tablets in the field. After speaking with one executive in particular and asking if his company was considering tablets as a replacement for their current handheld devices, Howland was surprised to hear him say, “absolutely not.”

“I can’t remember a conversation I’ve had in the past three years where a company wasn’t at least considering replacing their handheld- or laptop-based solution with a tablet,” writes Howland. 

Research shows that tablets aren’t going anywhere and, if anything, are still on the rise as a solutions for many companies. For instance, ABI Research, states that “More than 39 million tablets shipped worldwide during the first calendar quarter of 2013, representing the second largest volume of shipments to date; only bested by the previous quarter ending calendar year 2012. North America is forecasted to claim nearly half of the estimated $72 billion expected to be spent this year on tablet devices.” Why then, in the sea of so many tablet-seekers, does this company have such an anti-tablet stance? Because they’re going about device selection the right way — choosing the form factor that’s the best fit for the work they’re trying to get done with maximum efficiency.

Selecting The Right Mobile Device For Your Operation

Don’t get me wrong — tablets are great devices, and are a better fit for many organizations than a handheld or laptop. And I do believe that the tablet popularity of the past few years is here to stay. But what I liked about this particular conversation is that the person I was talking with had conviction behind what’s right for his field force, and he isn’t letting any other aspects — like mainstream popularity and intense buzz — influence his decision. And that’s what will lead you to choosing the right device for your organization — focusing solely on the job that needs to get done and what tool will best enable your workers to do that job, rather than getting caught up in what the coolest new feature or functionality is that’s being introduced to the market. It’s important to stay up to speed on trends and advancements, but at the core, your focus should be on how well a device — your entire solution, for that matter — will help you accomplish your goals.

ABOUT Field Technologies Online

Field Technologies Online provides is a resource for the optimization of field workers, service and assets. The publication's goal is to provide companies in the field service, transportation/distribution, government, public works and utilities industries with information on mobile technologies that can be used to improve productivity and drive efficiency.