There was a time when good business meant monitoring activity from behind a desk and when good data was provided in spreadsheets and formal reports.
But these times are gone.
We are now in a post-PC world, said Apple CEO Tim Cook -- a world in which good business now means active engagement throughout the production process and good data are those immediately accessible in real-time.
In other words, it is time to transition from the desk to the field, from the PC to the tablet.
"We're talking about a world where the PC is no longer the center of your digital world, but rather just the device," Cook said during the company's new iPad launch in March. "We're talking about a world where your new devices, the devices you use the most, need to be more portable, more personal, and dramatically easier to use than any PC has ever been."
In the manufacturing world, this is no different.
"These markets are moving toward devices that combine best-in-class mobility as well as the capacity to perform in rugged environments," said Peter Molyneux, vice president of computer manufacturer, Getac UK.
However, these "rugged environments" bring up one very important question: How are these tiny pieces of glass and aluminum ever supposed to survive a factory?
The answer: they get rugged.
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Credit: Travis Hessman @ IndustryWeek