Analysis

IT Buyers urged to address the sustainability gap by breaking tech refresh cycles

29th November 2022
Sheryl Miles

European IT Buyers are stuck in a four-year cycle of refreshing their computing devices for the mobile workforce, despite increasing sustainability pressures, according to research from Panasonic TOUGHBOOK.

On average, IT Buyers reported they were refreshing their mobile computing technology every four years and they expected manufacturers to support devices for just over three years after product launch.

“Despite an increasing awareness of sustainability issues and a general desire to use devices for longer, worryingly we still see organisations across Europe stuck in the mindset of the four-year technology refresh,” said Lisbeth Lashmana, Head of the European Marketing for Panasonic TOUGHBOOK. “The reality is that with the new modular design of mobile computing devices and the extended support available for the latest powerful devices, there really is an opportunity for organisations to extend the life of the technology used by the mobile workforce, simplify management and improve total cost of ownership.”

In the UK, France and Germany, 750 mobile technology buyers in companies of more than 50 employees across the utilities, emergency services, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing and construction sectors were independently surveyed by Opinion Matters, for research commissioned by Panasonic TOUGHBOOK.

The top 5 most important considerations for IT Buyers when purchasing computing devices for mobile workforces were Security (23.7%), Reliability (23.7%), Performance (22.9%), Battery Life (19.3%), Ruggedness (18.7%) and Initial Cost (18.3%).

Surprisingly, half of all IT buyers still do not pilot new computing devices with users before purchase.

On average, companies were supporting 2–3 different types of mobile computing devices within their organisation ranging from laptops and tablets to mobile workstations and wearables.

Recognising the increasing awareness for security, around 70% of respondents considered regular Bios, Firmware and Driver updates as important with the average updates happening between 2.5–3 times a year and taking an average of 4 days a year to implement.

“There is a huge opportunity for businesses to reset their approach to buying technology for the mobile workforce and close the Sustainability Gap,” said Lisbeth. “By engaging the workforce in pilot projects before purchase, buyers can ensure devices are much more closely matched to the users’ needs. Secondly, by purchasing the latest modular designed devices, the technology can be modified and customised by users in the field to different requirements or repurposed later for another purpose within the business. Combine this with the incredible CPU and memory performance available in the latest generation of devices, with the ability to upgrade as required and the long-term extended support being offered by manufacturers like Panasonic and there are reasons to be optimistic. All the elements are now in place for organisations to extend the usability of their mobile computing equipment – by years in many cases.”

Panasonic has recently expanded its range of rugged modular laptops and tablets with the updated TOUGHBOOK 55, the introduction of the TOUGHBOOK G2 rugged tablet and the launch of the TOUGHBOOK 40, the ultimate 14-inch modular rugged notebook designed for Defence and ideal for Police and Utilities. To ensure the security and long use of devices, Panasonic TOUGHBOOK supports its products for a further five years after they have been withdrawn from sale. Panasonic TOUGHBOOK ProTect Warranties can be extended for up to five years for all devices.

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