The hardware aspect of technology has been a challenge to companies for as long as devices have existed. The factors that organisations have to take into consideration when choosing the right devices are countless, from upfront costs and workforce adoption to lifecycle management and training. DaaS, or device as a service, addresses these issues, replacing the long-term purchase of devices with a subscription model. Businesses use it to purchase an all-in-one solution, and the DaaS provider is then responsible for the various challenges. The question many organisations are asking about this new model is whether it is a good fit for their business.
The Benefits Of DaaSDaaS is a relatively new concept. Many companies, especially the ones who are approaching the need for a workforce device upgrade, are trying to identify the potential benefits of making the change. The following provides a comprehensive look at the advantages DaaS has to offer:
1. Freeing Up The IT DepartmentManaging all the devices used across a company is time, resource, and money intensive. The IT department must assist with technical issues, oversee necessary updates, and keep a close eye on security threats. DaaS removes the vast majority of these burdens, as the device provider takes on the responsibility and management for them. It is the provider's sole mission to provide a seamless device experience on a day-to-day basis. They can offer this level of service because it is someone's full-time job rather than an extra task for the company's IT department, which then can instead focus on more strategic, higher value initiatives that help the business to achieve its goals.
2. A Budget-Friendly OptionDaaS allows firms to avoid the significant upfront cost of purchasing new devices. This alone can create savings, as well as decreasing the time IT has to spend managing devices. DaaS moves the cost from being a capital expenditure to being another operating expense—for many companies this type of change can be advantageous. The reason for this is that it makes future IT costs more visible, which in turn offers enhanced financial stability.
Additionally, instead of losing time working with various providers for different devices and the variety of software that comes on the device, companies can find a single provider for all of their needs. Combining this into a single contract decreases the complexity of the process and allows companies to maintain better margins.
3. Scaling Up And DownEvery business has unique needs, and those needs change over time. The workforce is fluid, as is the work. The beauty of the 'as-a-service' concept is that it has enabled companies to change subscription levels to fit their needs. For example, if the busy season only lasts a few months out of the year, the subscription size can be lower for the rest of the year. Similarly, if there is suddenly a need for significantly increased sales or customer service, the subscription can quickly be adjusted up. DaaS allows the same freedom and flexibility. Device deployments can be scaled up and down whenever needed, giving companies the ability to avoid dead weight associated with unneeded devices if there are layoffs or planned-for seasons of lower capacity. The device provider merely re-collects the unnecessary devices and can then redeploy them with other clients.
There is another way in which DaaS can provide flexibility. Historically, from top to bottom, everyone in a company is given the same devices, loaded with the same software. This creates redundancies and slows down devices. Not every employee needs the same device and applications. Depending on the responsibilities of their role, their experience, and their education, DaaS can provide a more custom fit for each employee. In short, at every level of the company, each employee can be fitted with a device that best suits their job and their needs.
4. Getting New Technology When It's Still NewOne of the burdens of the traditional methods for purchasing workforce devices is that companies buy the devices with the intention of them lasting for several years. However, with the current pace of technology, these devices quickly age and become out of date. In the DaaS subscription model, when technology is upgraded, devices are upgraded.
However, the upgradeability that DaaS brings to the table covers much more than just the physical device. It also allows companies to maintain the latest in security technology. This means that device security is both increased and centralised. Additionally, the new device deployment model enables businesses to meet any changing government and industry regulations consistently, since it allows devices to be switched in and out with increased ease. This keeps device security current in a much more manageable way.
Device As A Service In AsiaWhile DaaS is already making waves globally, the trend is now starting to surface regionally—In Asia and Asia-Pacific. Recently, Lenovo has made changes to their channel operations to better service SMBs. Their goal is to pursue new initiatives that address the challenges small and medium businesses face. While this will involve strategic adjustments in various areas, including virtual reality and mobility, one of their most significant endeavours will be to focus on offering device as a service. One of the first projects in this new service category is a $22.3 million contract that Lenovo won with Australia's Federal Government's Department of Human Services. They will be supplying more than 30,000 devices to the department's offices across the country.
Experts in the industry estimate that mobility spending, in 2021, will pass the $1 trillion mark. The two most significant regions for this spending will be China and the U.S., who will make up about a fifth of the market share. The Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan and China, will follow close behind in mobility spending and will lead the way in terms of growth rates.
This $1 trillion will not come from enterprises alone, but also from individuals. However, enterprise mobility spending will grow rapidly, at a combined annual growth rate of 15% over the next five years. The prediction is that device as a service procurement and management will play a prominent role in this growth and spending on mobile technology.
IDC Corporation also sees a big future for DaaS in Asia-Pacific. Based on recent studies, IDC estimates that a fifth of companies in the region will make a move to DaaS in the near future.
The Biggest Challenge With DaaSThe biggest challenge with deploying DaaS is intimately connected to one benefit of the device deployment model—The fact that DaaS allows companies to customise employees' devices based on their needs. While this provides advantages regarding delivering the best device experience for employees as well as enabling them to get the most productivity out of their workforce, it can be challenging to nail down exactly what each employee needs. Companies should create user personas to assist in this process. Instead of customising from employee to employee, customisation will be based on the type of employee, making the DaaS deployment process much more manageable. Here are some tips for developing these personas:
1. Look Deeper Than Just The DeviceWhen developing device personas, businesses all too often forget that the device is about much more than just the hardware. The software plays a significant role. The different personas should include different categories of apps, so instead of having tens or hundreds of unused apps on a device, users have only those that they need. A similar rule should apply to security. The various personas should take into consideration which type of employee will need the heaviest layers of security (i.e. executives, mobile employees, etcetera).
2. Take Preference Into ConsiderationThe device options abound. There are wide varieties of processing power and form factor. Each persona will have a preference when it comes to what they want and what they need. If employees do not have a pleasant user experience with the device, this can be a significant contributor to employee attrition. Businesses should identify the preferences of various personas. Employees in the tech department will need and want a very different device compared to what those in the marketing department will need and want.
3. Harness Data To Improve PersonasJust because a device persona has been set, does not mean it needs to stay that way. Personas can and should evolve over time. Organisations need to evaluate
employee needs, productivity, finance, and much more to get the bigger picture of DaaS efficacy across the workforce. Regular monitoring and assessments are necessary to accomplish this.
DaaS is a trend that is sweeping across industries. Companies are seeing the benefits and embracing the concept. The key to its success is getting planning and deployment right. One of the best ways to do this is to partner with an experienced vendor, such as Lenovo. To find out more about us, visit our LenovoPRO store or contact us.Read more about keeping up with new trends by downloading our “Guide to DigitalTransformation“ e-book.