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While usability is the main concern on the job site, cost is often a more prevalent concern for managers. The initial cost of mobile applications can seem daunting in large organizations, considering the varying degrees of training each one requires, the challenges of setting up a network infrastructure, and the cost of buying technology for those employees. Cost is always an issue, but the challenge is especially steep in tough economic conditions.
In most cases, the actual cost is less than initially anticipated.
Consider a department with 60 employees. Initially, managers might believe the application requires the purchase of 60 new devices. These devices can range from consumer-grade personal digital assistants (PDA) or smart phones — at a cost of $200-$500 each — to rugged devices meant to withstand extreme conditions and abuse — at a cost of $1,700-$3,500 each. The price also fluctuates based on the device's capabilities and the desired amount of computing power.
By looking carefully at the situation — for example, multiple shifts, and technicians working in teams and sharing devices — managers might need to purchase only 12-15 devices for the 60-employee department.
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