Device as a Service

Hardware vendors may not want to sell you a device, they may, however want to provide you a “device as a Service”. What is this? What should you look out for in utilizing these offerings.

What is “DaaS” ?

Device as a service is the bundling of all the hardware life cycle components of PC’s tablet etc. into a single service including;-

  • Acquisition
  • Deployment
  • Ongoing hardware maintenance
  • Financing
  • Reporting
  • Retrieval
  • Secure wipe and disposal

There may be other services that are offered however the above list is the minimum set of services.

Alongside the above, the service needs to be as a single monthly charge on a per device basis, that is, consumption based billing.

Finally there needs to be no minimum commitment to the number of devices, the vendor may offer volume based discounts, but the rates must start at 1 device.

Who could take advantage of DaaS ?

The enterprises that are most likely to find DaaS useful are ones where;-

  • There are capital constraints – DaaS moves from CapEx to OpEx – similar to leasing – adding the whole of life cycle management charges into the rate.
  • There are many and differing device requirements – DaaS allows for almost any device of any capacity to be put into the service, so if you have 10 users who a churning through spreadsheets all day, or have a special device requirement, you can give those folks a significantly higher spec machine without having to overly worry about having special deals for such things as maintenance, etc.
  • You know you have lots of equipment but do not know where (all) is, who is using it etc. This is what I call the outsource value proposition. There as still a few enterprises where they do not have effective enterprise wide control over the device acquisition – by helping get the enterprise onto a simpler method of acquisition, and as part of that provide a fully compliant life cycle management (e.g. maintenance, disposal) you can help drive some greater level of compliance – because there is always reporting of who has what device in the DaaS service.
  • You have variability in the demand – if you have a cyclical based demand, or have a big project that requires staff augmentation DaaS allows for the acquisition of equipment as needed, and the return when not needed thus reducing significantly unproductive or unused devices over time.

What should you look out for ?

This last point in the section above needs further explanation and is the most significant issue with DaaS as it is right now.

At this time most DaaS offerings do not have a purely “rental” agreement approach – that is you can bring in, say, 100 PC’s for a new development project and hand them back in 6 months when the project is done – there is an implicit minimum term of “usage”.

This is because of the evolution of DaaS is from device leasing, it still bears the legacy of that origin. If a purely rental type agreement is what is needed, this  puts a lot more risk of early return of the device on the vendor.

Naturally the cost would be different (higher) for a true rental based agreement versus one that is a term lease based.

 

In conclusion, as we move to more “Cloud” based IT services there are some IT components that are evolving to a similar model – Device as a Service is one such service becoming available. It is not for every enterprise, however it can be, if used effectively, as a means of ensuring that your device fleet is optimized and flexible enough to meet the ever changing demand of your users.

Thanks for reading.

2 thoughts on “Device as a Service

  1. Only really works when you do a wholesale replacement of the fleet. Otherwise you will have different support models for non-DaaS devices versus the newer DaaS devices. This will drive extra workload at the Service Desk to differentiate and get hw support to multiple vendors. Not impossible to do but adds cost and complexity

  2. Don, Agree, and that transition is one of the items that customers need to consider. It doesn’t need to be 100% one way or the other – I would see a situation where the DaaS provider takes on almost all (except the older) fleet to prevent just such an as you mentioned

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