April 8th, 2014, will mark the end of an era, and, for some, the beginning of something new. On this date, Microsoft will be ending its support of Windows XP, as well as Office 2003. This is a scheduled termination, and it means that businesses using XP will need to migrate to a modern, fully-supported operating system. With the average migration time for an enterprise being 18 to 32 months, this is a time-consuming and costly undertaking.
The vacuum created by XP losing support leaves the field wide open for a new option, and an opportunity to do more than just upgrade the OS and software again.
The technological progression seen with mobile devices has been incredible. In just a few decades, they have become pocket or paper-sized and capable of doing practically everything a laptop can do.
Moore’s Law states that computer processing power increases every two years, so there’s no reason to expect that mobile devices, particularly tablets, won’t follow in the steps of the notebook. At first, some said notebooks would only ever be companions to PC’s – today, they are powerful enough for all but the most intensive computations. If you combine this with reliable, optimized cloud experiences from services like SceneDoc, mobile devices become a strong competitor to laptops and PC’s.
In fact, tablets have already begun replacing outdated MDT’s (mobile data terminals). For example, instead of upgrading their software or buying the latest version of their hardware, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) decided to replace their computing system with iPads. The tablets can quickly perform useful tasks for the officers and network easily with other information systems and devices. Features like automated form-filling are expected to cut administration times by about one hour per shift, and the process of organizing and sending documents to court will be immensely simplified.
In New Zealand, the police force began issuing iPhones and iPads to officers some time ago and are now very pleased with the result. Over 6,000 officers were given iPhones, and almost 4,000 of them were given iPads as well. They’ve been using the devices to look up information and maps, issue safety alerts, and communicate in a more intuitive way.
A report later issued by the New Zealand Police disclosed a sharp drop in crime, which in some part was attributed to the new mobile devices. Their use of Apple products resulted in a 13% drop in crime, according to the report, as well as a reduction of necessary prosecutions by 27%. The police are able to focus more on their real jobs, and less on the “paper” work.
If mobile devices can make such a significant impact on crime, there’s no doubt that they will continue pushing laptops and PC’s out of their traditional roles. As the cloud settles in, providing professional services for a fraction of the price of hardware, businesses are trusting more and more of their operations to it and expanding its capabilities. The future is mobile.
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