by Christoph Schell

Device-as-a-service makes device ownership and management a thing of the past

May 11, 2017
Computers and PeripheralsIT LeadershipTechnology Industry

DaaS unburdens IT with lower, more predictable costs, access to the latest technology and increased security.rn

There’s a seismic shift happening in the tech industry today, with subscription-based services on a major upward trajectory.

With everything-as-a-service (XaaS), companies can tailor their computing environment to shape the experiences they want and support the technology needs of an ever-evolving workforce. The device-as-a-service (DaaS) model in particular is finding a receptive audience among companies looking for a new way to manage device allocation and support.

DaaS combines state-of-the-art devices (such as mobile, PC and powerful workstations) with value-added expertise in an all-inclusive managed solution under a single contract. By providing customers with a single point of contact, DaaS significantly reduces the complexity and costs, both hidden and visible, of device procurement and deployment.

This type of approach isn’t new — it’s been prevalent throughout the enterprise for quite some time with printers and copiers. With DaaS, a company leases a range of devices for a length of time and pays a monthly fee for each. Customers can choose a maintenance contract or opt for a fully managed service whereby vendors employ predictive analytics to monitor devices for security, policy compliance and potential hardware failures. Predicting and preventing potential problems (such as hard disk malfunctions) ensures worker productivity and results in time and cost savings.

According to Tom Mainelli, who manages IDC’s Devices and Displays Group, services such as the DaaS model are catching on.  In its survey of U.S.-based IT buyers representing a range of companies of all sizes conducted last year, IDC found one-quarter of participants were actively looking at DaaS, and among those that were not, nearly 20% said they planned to do so in the next 12 months. 

Lower, more predictable costs

Unlike traditional device procurement, which can leave companies with surplus computer hardware should they decrease the size of their workforce, DaaS offers flexibility. Customers can scale device deployment up or down as needed to accommodate seasonal influx or changes in their workforce.  

Predictability is another factor driving DaaS adoption. Since customers pay on a monthly per-seat basis, costs over the lifecycle of the device are more certain. Along with their subscription, customers not only receive the latest technology — they also have access to customized services and support, including device configuration, installation, data migration, onsite support and technology recycling, resulting in a more manageable total cost of ownership.

DaaS also enables companies to shift the high cost of acquiring new technology from a capital expenditure (capex), which they must depreciate, to an operating expense (opex). By doing so, companies large and small can free up cash for investment in strategic initiatives that drive revenue and growth.

Access to latest technology

Today’s end users, most notably millennials who now represent 1 in 3 American workers, desire the latest technology. Because millennials view their device but as an extension of themselves, they want their technology to be stylish, flexible and powerful, as well as small and lightweight.

DaaS subscriptions cover the range of devices from smartphones to PCs to workstations, and assure customers access to the latest available models. New models also eliminate user productivity issues caused by an aging fleet. And because they feature increasingly energy-efficient technology, newer devices support environmental sustainability — an issue of rising concern to companies and their customers.

Unburdens IT

 IT departments have a limited amount of resources. By eliminating the responsibility to manage and maintain a fleet of devices, DaaS frees IT staff to focus on strategic initiatives that move the company ahead, better serve customers and meet competitive challenges. At the same time, employees have the assurance that devices are more secure, well-maintained, and come with with 24/7 support whether they work on-site or remotely.

Boosts security

Companies are faced with growing threats to their IT infrastructure and loss of highly sensitive data due to cyberattacks launched daily from every corner of the globe. DaaS protects companies against vulnerabilities that could pave the way for these attacks by monitoring a company’s entire fleet of devices to assure adherence to security policies at all times regarding passwords, approved apps and access to data.  

DaaS also provides analytical insight on fleet inventory, including location and condition to maintain better security. Since the delivery model includes fleet end-of-life disposal, companies have the assurance that devices and data don’t fall into the wrong hands.

DeaaS is proving to be a compelling proposition for any size organization. With its all-inclusive approach, DaaS takes the guesswork out of device procurement, deployment and maintenance and supports today’s highly discerning users with the latest technology.