What is Device as a Service?

You’ve heard of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, but have you heard of DaaS? Device as a Service is a device procurement model that works similarly to Software as a Service and the like.

What is Device as a Service? Device as a Service is a hardware procurement model that allows businesses to pay a monthly fee for hardware rather than an upfront lump sum.

This might sound remarkably similar to hardware leasing, which is also very popular. And in some ways, hardware leasing and Device as a Service are alike. But there are also differences between the two which I will explain in this blog post. Furthermore, I’ll explain the advantages and disadvantages of using DaaS to acquire new hardware for your business.

What is DaaS?

DaaS stands for Device as a Service. As with all ‘as-a-Service’ models, it’s all about offering you something you need on a subscription basis rather than paying for services and products in one large upfront sum.

With Software as a Service, you pay monthly for a piece of software rather than actually purchasing the software. I wrote a blog post, Software as a Service: Advantages and disadvantages, which explains why SaaS is such a good option. In that blog post, I explained how Office Business costs around £250 per user, whereas a Microsoft 365 licence costs approximately £10 per month.

Apply that same thinking to business hardware. Instead of paying a large figure upfront for all your hardware requirements, using DaaS enables you to acquire all the hardware you require without a large upfront payment. This is similar leasing, but there are some differences. For example, DaaS also often includes the following:

  • Installation
  • Remote Support
  • Maintenance

Depending on the supplier that you work with, you might also get extras such as network analytics and software patch management.

Basically, with Device as a Service, you get a complete hardware management package. With leasing, you generally just get the hardware without any extras such as installation. If you do get those extras, they’re usually an additional charge. With Device as a Service, most agreements will bundle all these extras in. You get the complete package: the hardware that you need and all the other bits and pieces you need to make full use of it.

With a DaaS solution, the entire asset lifecycle is managed by your supplier. In simple terms, all this means is that your supplier handles everything from providing you with the hardware to setting it up for you and recovering and replacing the hardware once it no longer works effectively. That last point, recovering and replacing the hardware, is a key benefit of the DaaS model also.

Once the hardware stops working effectively for your business, your supplier will replace it for you. They’ll recycle your existing hardware and give you new, up-to-date hardware that meets your requirements better. Previously, upgrading your equipment would require a large financial outlay every few years. With DaaS, your equipment is upgraded on a regular cycle according to the details of your agreement. This means you can keep up with your competition that have much larger hardware budgets without having to break the bank.

So that’s what DaaS, or Device as a Service is. Next, I’ll explain the advantages of using Device as a Service versus purchasing hardware upfront.

Advantages of Device as a Service

Businesses are embracing Device as a Service because it offers a large number of advantages:

  • Everything you need to make the most of the hardware you acquire
  • Procure all the hardware that you require, from desktop PCs, to laptops and tablets
  • Extras such as maintenance thrown in so you don’t need in-house support teams
  • Upfront costs are significantly lower
  • Regular cycle of hardware so you’re never left with outdated technology

These advantages really require more explanation, so I’m going to talk through them all in some more detail next.

Everything you need to make the most of your hardware

At first glance, it might appear that the Device as a Service model is just an alternate phrase for leasing. However, there are distinct differences to distinguish between the two options. One way in which the two models differ is what’s included. With typical leasing, you get the hardware and that’s it. With DaaS, you get all kinds of extras such as maintenance thrown in.

DaaS is often described as the ‘complete’ solution. You don’t just get the hardware. As well as the actual equipment, you usually get help with selecting the appropriate hardware, configuring it, installing it, and maintaining it. Furthermore, if you’re using DaaS, the hardware is usually replaced when it reaches end of life. This means you aren’t stuck with old, outdated hardware. Your DaaS provider will remove your old hardware, replace it with the latest version, and set it all up for you as part of your agreement.

DaaS providers often offer so much more too. For example, they can usually manage your devices for you, keeping them up to date. Remember, it’s in the interests of your Device as a Service partner to keep your hardware working effectively for your business. That’s why most will do what they can to keep your hardware working well for your business.

Procure all the hardware you need, from PCs, to tablets and servers

The name of this hardware procurement model, Device as a Service, is a little misleading for some. Device doesn’t mean just laptops or phones. It covers the vast majority of IT network hardware, such as servers.

Using DaaS, you can cost-effectively acquire all the IT hardware that your business requires. Whether you need desktop PCs or laptops for all of your team, or a new server, you can use a DaaS supplier. Most DaaS suppliers will offer you a pick of a wide range of devices, ensuring that you end up with the appropriate devices that suit the requirements of your business the best.

Extras such as maintenance included as part of your agreement

Working with a DaaS provider, you get much more than just hardware from them. You will also get extras such as maintenance included as part of your agreement. This extra in particular is notable because it eases the strain on your internal IT team, if you have one. Your internal IT team can get bogged down with support requests instead of focusing on actually boosting your business with technology. Because your maintenance is usually included with your hardware, that takes the pressure of support requests away from your internal teams.

Other extras include support with software and security updates; another job that your internal IT team don’t want to be bogged down with. We all know the importance of keeping software up to date. Otherwise you might miss out on new features or important security patches. Your DaaS partner can ensure that your solutions are well-maintained and updated as required.

Upfront costs are significantly lower

With Device as a Service, the upfront costs of procuring the hardware your business requires is much cheaper. The benefits of this don’t need any explaining. After all, not every business has the capital needed to purchase hardware upfront with a large lump sum. The DaaS hardware procurement model makes acquiring the hardware your business needs much easier on your finances.

There are typically little to no upfront costs with a DaaS deal. There may be upfront costs in some cases, such as an admin or installation fee. However, the initial costs are nowhere near as large as actually purchasing your hardware for a large lump sum. DaaS makes it possible for smaller businesses with less capital to keep up technologically with their large competitors.

Regular cycle of hardware so you are never left with outdated technology

A DaaS agreement prevents your business ever being left with outdated hardware that doesn’t work effectively. When your hardware reaches end of life, your DaaS provider will replace it for you. They will typically recycle your existing equipment and then replace it with newer equipment that will meet your requirements better.

The problem with purchasing hardware upfront is that technology, typically, soon reaches end of life. For example, the best laptop now won’t hold a candle to the best laptop in 5 years’ time. That’s just the way things are. But if you can’t afford to replace your hardware every 3 or 4 years, you’ll be left with outdated equipment that requires regular maintenance. Fortunately, this isn’t a problem when you use a DaaS provider.

Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell has been the Operations manager at telecoms and MSP Optionbox for more than 4 years. He has played a crucial role in the company, from marketing to helpdesk, and ensures that the IT requirements of over 300 clients are continuously met. With his innate passion for technology and troubleshooting and a particular interest in Apple products, Jack now delivers the most comprehensive tech guides to make your life easier. You can connect with Jack on LinkedIn.

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