Everything in IT is available in a subscription-based service model these days, and computing hardware is no exception. Devices as a service (DaaS), also known as hardware as a service (HaaS), have captured IT managers' imagination, offering new payment and usage models that make fleets of desktop and mobile hardware easier to manage.
DaaS bundles the management and services associated with the device into single regular payments that also cover the cost of the unit itself. When you use a device under a DaaS arrangement, you're not buying the hardware so it doesn't have to appear on your balance sheet. You also don't have to worry about regular maintenance or repairs. In this way, it's different to leasing arrangements. Those also work on a regular fee but you're expected to maintain and manage your own equipment.
A DaaS contract brings several benefits. Let's start with the financial one:
When you purchase new hardware as part of an IT refresh, you make a sizeable investment in that product. That eats into your budget and leaves less money for other projects, even if you refresh your devices on a staggered schedule by replacing just a portion of them each year. Aside from freeing up your budget, this has other side benefits. The equipment doesn't show up as a liability on your balance sheet, which can make it easier to secure financing. That's especially important when recessions and other adverse business conditions loom.
Planning for hardware refreshes means allocating substantial portions of your budget every year or every few years. Prices can fluctuate, derailing your purchasing expectations. Then there are maintenance and repair budgets to consider. Switching to a regular payment with all services included means you can plan your finances with more confidence, enabling you to run your IT department more smoothly and come in on budget every year.
Predictability doesn't mean rigidity. DaaS contracts will often give you some leeway to alter the number of devices that you need. That's a big plus point for companies facing uncertain times that might need to raise or lower their staff numbers at short notice. Flexible device usage means that you can reduce the number of units you're paying for when it's time to tighten your belt, or ramp things up when taking on a temporary team of contractors for a new project.
Here's one that will delight your users: they get the latest new equipment on a regular basis. Companies paying for their equipment outright are often tempted to sweat those assets, putting off hardware refreshes for as long as possible to save that expenditure. This can affect employee morale and productivity, because hardware performance begins to degrade and the likelihood of equipment failure increases. By getting the newest equipment as part of the contract, you guarantee a positive working experience for your employees and a happier, more productive workforce,.
Finally, a DaaS contract removes many of your management overheads by outsourcing them to a vendor that's dedicated to the task. Teaming with a DaaS provider that has a track record in IT services means that you'll get active rather than passive management. Rather than waiting for things to go wrong, the service provider will monitor machines remotely to watch for potential issues and fix them before they become problems.
In most cases, it makes sense to outsource commodity operations that add no real value to your core business. That's especially true with desktop and laptop devices and software that are complex and prone to problems. DaaS frees up the budget that you'd spend buying and maintaining hardware yourself so that you can invest it in IT projects that can drive efficiencies into your business and help you serve your customers better.
With these advantages, Daas models warrant at least a closer look and a discussion with your service provider. You might just find that it gives you the budgeting and support boost that you've been looking for.