Warehouse IT Heads View Their Mobility Deployments As Immature

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 19, 2017

supply chain

Over 50 percent of IT decision makers supporting warehouse operations view their mobility deployments as immature, states a study by Ivanti and VDC Research.

56 percent of organizations plan to upgrade their existing fleet of mobile devices as their current devices near end-of-life and that one in four respondents cited a more visual and modern user interface as a critical factor influencing the decision to upgrade, it said.

“The warehouse is much more complex than it was 10 years ago,” said Steve Bemis, Global Vice President of Sales, Supply Chain Business Unit, Ivanti. “Now, so many factors can impact the success of supply chain operations. Everything from asset utilization to working capital to transportation expenses, and even regulatory pressures, employee turnover and the need for faster response times, are driving companies to look for new ways for improving productivity. Along the way, they are also finding that stepping up to ‘modern mobility’ with Android giving them an edge.”  

“A critical component of today’s digital transformation strategies is migrating legacy mobile applications running on aging equipment to take advantage of more sophisticated and functional modern mobile solutions and their intuitive interfaces,” said David Krebs, Executive Vice President, VDC Research.

Top takeaways outlined in the study include:

·  End-of-Life for Legacy OS Presents Challenges for Warehousing Operations. Ruggedized handheld computers have long been the de facto platform for data collection and processing within the warehousing industry. Used for inventory management, package delivery verification, digital exchange and other applications, many organizations rely on mobile devices to conduct business-critical operations in real-time. However, with the dominant mobile operating systems - Microsoft Windows Mobile, Windows CE, and Windows Embedded Handheld – nearing end-of-life, many current customers have been left with no clear migration path to new technologies. Further, most organizations don’t have the resources or time to dedicate to the transition process.

·  Industrial Browsers Can Ease Transition to Modern Mobile Platforms. As organizations anticipate and plan for Windows Embedded CE and Windows Embedded Handheld OS end-of-life, industrial browsers can help to pave the way for a smooth migration to modern mobile platforms, including Android-based solutions. Not only do they eliminate the time and costs associated with re-writing legacy applications, these browsers will automatically convert a host application’s text interface so it delivers the modern touchscreen experience users want and expect from their devices.

·  Modern Mobility Can Drive Speed and Agility. Regardless of which OS warehousing and supply chains choose to leverage, the deployment of handhelds, wearables, and other mobile devices has been shown to deliver significant productivity gains while providing new opportunities for gaining agility and speed, especially among the growing population of younger workers. However, the study found that many organizations are also continuing to rely heavily on computer terminals with batch connectivity and legacy software to manage their operations. Through the deployment of modern mobile solutions, warehouse professionals will find it easier to migrate away from manual processes and paper-based tracking and to a more technology-driven approach. This leads to improved utilization of available resources, greater efficiencies in inbound and outbound handling, storage, inventory control, “pick and fill” and other critical operations.