Apple’s recent unveiling of the iPhone 7 was more than just an introduction to a new iteration of the popular smartphone — it was a preview of what’s to come in the very near future of smartphones and audio technology in general. If Apple has any say in it (and history suggests that the company certainly might), headphones as we know them will soon join cassette tapes, VHS players, and landlines in the Land of the Obsolete, paving the way for a transition to total wirelessness.
Many reviewers, though, are expressing reluctance to spend money on new technology when the old technology still works. But what if cost didn’t have to factor into our perception of technology? What if you could simply trade in your old iPhone — and, this time, headphones — for the newer model every time it evolves?
Obsolescence and the struggle to keep up with current technology aren’t just problems at the consumer level. In business, the life cycle churn of technology can put small-to-medium-sized businesses at a competitive disadvantage if they lack the capital to keep up. And even at the enterprise level, where cost might not be a limiting factor, devices can number in the thousands — making the task of maintaining and refreshing hardware overwhelming. There is an alternative way to procure enterprise hardware — one that requires comparatively little capital up front, doesn’t require a new line of credit, and frees customers of maintenance and refresh responsibilities.
Introducing: Device as a Service
Under a system called Device as a Service (DaaS), customers pay a monthly fee for a service package that includes hardware, software, maintenance, and installation. While contract terms vary, the basic premise is consistent: you would essentially outsource certain functions of your company’s IT department to an expert service provider for a revolving monthly fee. Your provider owns and maintains the devices that are issued to you under the terms of your service contract. At the end of your contract period, you can renew your contract and upgrade your hardware as necessary, or end your contract and either purchase all devices or return them to the provider.
Benefits of DaaS
- Future-proof devices. With rapidly evolving technology, newer, faster, more capable devices are inevitable. Under DaaS, it is your service provider’s responsibility to ensure that your hardware is up-to-date. Less risk and effort on your part means faster rollout — so you begin to see the benefits of new technology faster.
- No maintenance responsibility. Your provider is responsible for all major maintenance and care, troubleshooting errors, and ensuring that all equipment is operational. This prevents downtime due to inoperable devices, saving you time, liability, and overhead cost.
- Lower total cost of ownership. Hardware begins depreciating almost immediately after purchase. With DaaS, you pay only for what you’re using; you’re not responsible for depreciation and residual value. This is more important than ever, because of how quickly technology is advancing. Ten years ago, companies could expect a device to last for 10 years; today, three years might be more realistic.
- Lower up-front costs. DaaS minimizes the up-front costs associated with large hardware purchases. Instead of a total lump sum, you pay a fixed monthly fee. And as your company’s technology needs evolve, your provider’s job is to ensure that your devices grow with you.
- Competitive advantage. Advances in device capabilities have made it faster and easier to conduct business from just about anywhere. Device as a Service ensures that your company has access to the most up-to-date hardware available, giving you a competitive advantage over companies that lag behind in technology.
- Tax savings. With Device as a Service, device-related IT expenses are no longer considered capital expenses — they are considered operating expenses, which are tax deductible.
- Continuous security. As you work with your provider to upgrade your hardware, seamless protection is included as part of your fee.
- Minimized risk of unknowns. When you’re paying someone else to ensure that your hardware is up-to-date, there is no risk of purchasing technology that might become eclipsed by more advanced options that are released shortly after your devices are implemented.
- Access to total hardware refresh. Companies with limited capital often choose to stagger their device refreshes, purchasing new hardware in batches over time. As a result, the mix of old and new highlights inevitable differences in functionality, and new devices tend to get overused, hoarded, and generally worn out faster, with differences in employee productivity levels becoming measurably affected by the mix of devices available. With DaaS, you can afford to keep all of your employees equally well equipped, all at the same time.
Update Before It’s Too Late
Technology is not a short-term investment, especially at the enterprise level. It’s critical to consider long-term strategy from the very beginning. Unfortunately, most companies aren’t ready to think beyond their initial investment, and they have unrealistic expectations regarding the longevity of their hardware — so they aren’t prepared for a refresh when it’s time.
The costs of running technology past its prime should not be underestimated. Consequences of using old technology include:
- System crashes
- Expensive maintenance costs
- Slower performance
- Security threats
- Compliance uncertainty
- Competitive disadvantage
Invest in the Future
Whether you plan to resist and go kicking-and-screaming into the future by the cord of your headphones, or to run full speed ahead in the direction of Apple’s wireless vision, there is no escaping the reality of obsoletion: as technology evolves, it’s not if, but when you’ll be forced to purchase new devices. The question is whether you should do it now, or do it later.
Upgrading enterprise hardware can be expensive, but so is economizing yourself out of business. You can avoid this rock-and-a-hard-place decision by choosing Device as a Service. DaaS is a strategic move that protects your long-term technology needs, creates a more manageable expense, enables you to invest in technology that will grow as your company’s technology needs evolve, and ensures that your investment will not lose value over time.
Is DaaS right for your company? Contact us to find out more about how Device as a Service can help you meet your business goals.