Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Warnings for Companies Considering Mobile Handheld PDA Business Solutions

MobileDataforce is very busy these days helping companies replace old mobile software solutions for handheld PDAs that were based on out-dated Palm or Pocket PC operating systems. Although we appreciate the business, it is worth highlighting this issue for companies considering whether to program/code their own mobile software solution, or use a supported mobile middleware platform like the PointSync Mobility Platform.

Here are some issues to consider:
  1. Is your mobile solution going to be upgraded every year as mobile operating systems and handheld computers are upgraded?

  2. Who is going to be your in-house expert on the latest mobile operating systems and how to support them? It will take an investment of resources to stay current.

  3. When you buy new handheld computers or PDAs, they are generally sold with only the latest most current operating system on them. So how can you buy new handheld computers, unless your mobile solution can run on the latest operating system. Over the life of your mobile software application you may need to upgrade the OS many times.

  4. Often a business unit funded the original mobile software application development project. Are they willing to continue funding your mobile operating system upgrades each year. The answer is most often NO! So how can IT support it after the first year?

  5. One solution to prolonging the life of a mobile software application is to pre-purchase all the handheld computers or PDAs you will ever need. This will ensure that you have the supported hardware and supported operating system available to you over the life of your mobile software application. But let's be real....who is going to fund a pre-purchase of all the hardware you will ever need? No business unit I have ever met. If you find one, let me know...I would like to sell them all the mobile software they will ever need in the future as well.

The most reasonable approach to keeping current with mobile operating systems and the latest handheld computers and PDAs is to develop your mobile handheld application on a supported mobile software platform like MobileDataforce's PointSync Mobility Platform. Why? MobileDataforce and other companies that author mobile middleware and mobile development platforms committ to keeping them current on the latest supported operating systems - so you don't have to. The cost of the operating system updates/upgrades are generally covered in your annual support contract. Companies like MobileDataforce employ legions of software developers who are paid to be experts on mobile operating systems and how to keep mobile middleware and mobile software platforms current and updated.