Four trends proving device as a service is not a passing fad

The “Uberization” effect is driving a seismic shift in the role services play in our increasingly on-demand economy. Enabled by technology, new service models allow customers to get exactly what they want when, where and how they want it. In notable ways, the service economy has already impacted several industries, including transportation (Uber), lodging (Airbnb), entertainment (Netflix), apparel (Stitch Fix), cosmetics (Birchbox) and groceries (Instacart).

Technology itself is not even exempt from this tidal wave.

Device as a service (DaaS) is a disruptive model fundamentally changing how devices are perceived, sourced and managed. According to IDC, 35% of Fortune 1000 companies will have a DaaS agreement in place and 1% will have completely transitioned to DaaS by 2019. That number is sure to grow as the promise of increased agility, lower and more predictable costs, access to the latest and greatest technology, improved security and sustainability considerations entice more customers.

With 2019 just around the corner, there are four reasons DaaS is here to stay and why organizations need to move now to get on board.

Strategic asset deployment

When technology is the key to competitive advantage, having IT staff drowning in routine tasks is the equivalent of Nero playing his fiddle while Rome burned — nobody is focusing on what matters. DaaS releases IT teams from mundane work so they can focus on transformative projects. Research reveals 50% of IT managers spend too much time procuring and managing devices and 63% say those resources could be better used on strategic projects such as security and digital transformation.

Not only does DaaS enable organizations to redeploy valuable resources to more pressing tasks, but it also makes day-to-day device management more efficient. IoT-enabled devices deliver data that can be used to proactively address issues before they happen, eliminating downtime and minimizing maintenance calls and costs.

DaaS also enables companies to shift the cost of acquiring new technology from a Capex to an Opex, freeing up cash for investment elsewhere. Plus, it allows companies to adjust device usage to match workforce fluctuations while the subscription model delivers a more predictable cost. Companies will continue to look for ways to optimize investments and realign resources to fund strategic initiatives, opening the floodgates for services that will enable and accelerate this shift.

Perpetual security safeguards

Security remains a key concern and driver of the move to DaaS. Juniper Research predicts that data breaches will cost businesses a total of $8 trillion by 2022. With cyberthreats becoming increasingly sophisticated and common, many companies are interested in the enhanced security that DaaS delivers. Security services proactively protect against attacks by monitoring every device — desktops, laptops, smartphones, printers — to ensure continuous compliance with security policies, including data access and approved apps. Automatic updates across entire fleets mean the resources required to manage all those devices are dramatically reduced.

Another key benefit of DaaS deals with lost, stolen and retired devices. DaaS allows lost or stolen devices to be remotely located, locked and erased. Instead of stashing old devices in a drawer or closet, DaaS provides the peace of mind of knowing that obsolete devices are collected and wiped of data, while also enabling the business to recover the residual hardware value.

With the proliferation of threats, security will remain an urgent and fast-changing area of concern — and 53% of organizations in the U.S. are already looking to partners to help keep their networks safe.

Evolving workforce expectations

More and more, an organization’s technology is a factor in recruiting and retaining top talent. Millennials are on track to make up 75% of the workforce within the next 10 years. On their heels, the oldest members of Generation Z, forecasted to be the most influential generation yet, are just starting to enter the workforce. These always-connected, tech-nimble groups regard devices as a reflection of their identity and have a no-compromise approach to technology. Company-supplied technology must be at least as powerful, lightweight and functional as what they have at home.

DaaS empowers companies to deliver the right technology to each job function and provide stylish devices that employees are proud to carry. As the gig economy accelerates and companies take on more seasonal, contract or part-time employees, DaaS can be used scale device deployment to match changing workforce dynamics.

With the talent war heating up, companies are competing for fewer resources. Smart, sleek, powerful technology will be increasingly important in attracting employees. In fact, an HP survey found that new technology is tied with sustainability as the top employer offering.

Sustainability in the workplace

Speaking of sustainability, DaaS enables companies to contribute to a more efficient, circular and low-carbon economy. As a service provides customers with access to sustainably designed technology such as printers made with closed-loop recycled plastic and ink cartridges made with plastic from bottles recycled in Haiti. These energy-efficient devices drive down energy consumption with features such as automatic shut-off when they are not in use or scheduled sleep and wake-up modes across the fleet.

Businesses can further slash waste and shrink their environmental footprint by creating more efficient protocols based on user behavior. For instance, paper costs can be trimmed by deploying fleet-wide print policies such as single-sided versus two-sided printing or pull printing.

Another important factor? Sustainability matters to employees — a lot. In fact, 56% of employees in the U.S. said they are more likely to work for an organization that offers ways to practice sustainability at work.

Flexibility. Cost savings. Better security. Talent acquisition. Sustainability. These are irresistible benefits for any company, regardless of size or industry, and will make the continued shift to DaaS inevitable. Partners who move quickly to work with trusted vendors offering device as a service will be at the front of the massive wave of demand that is swelling — and will ride that wave straight into the future.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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