Today, we can buy almost anything “as a service”—from software to furniture to cars. This approach is becoming an increasingly attractive for many reasons: It helps people and companies to amortize product costs over time, removes procurement, management and maintenance chores that are intrinsic to many complex products, and provides a more flexible, automated refresh cycle.
The as a service trend is also underway in the PC industry. The big three PC manufacturers (Dell, HP and Lenovo) all offer PC or Device as a service options (PCaaS or DaaS). While only about 3 to 4 percent of PCs are purchased as a service today (according to IDC), it’s likely to pick up steam in the near future, for two main reasons:
- The rising tide of the as a service model across many product categories will lift all boats—including PCaaS. As people buy more in a service model, their comfort level with the concept—and awareness of the value it provides—will propel them to consider across a wider range of categories.
- The rate of technical innovation is accelerating—and so is the degree to which businesses depend on technology to fuel innovation in their own businesses and competitive advantage. As a service models can help companies to stay current with product innovations and improvements.
Dell Expands PCaaS for SMBs
Dell is now giving PCaaS another boost. Until now, Dell’s PCaaS program required customers to put a minimum of 300 units under contract—putting it out of reach for most SMBs. But as of August 27, 2018, Dell has expanded its PCaaS program with a new, SMB-friendly offering.
Dell’s PC as a Service for Business (PCaaS) is designed for companies that need 20 to 300 units( FIgure 1). PCaaS offers the same benefits as the Enterprise offering provides to larger firms—helping companies to reduce the management and maintenance burden, allowing for predictable budgeting; and accelerating the PC refresh cycle.
Figure 1: Dell PC as a Service
PC as a Service for Business customers simply select their hardware and software options from an assortment of desktop, workstation and laptop options, and select the service options that are the best fit for their businesses. They can also take advantage of 3 or 4-year Dell Financing plans offered through Dell Financial Services.
PCaaS for Business—A Good Fit for Growing SMBs
PCaaS for Business is an attractive option for growing SMBs. According to SMB Group’s 2017 Digital Transformation Study, 74% of SMBs agree that using technology effectively is key to business growth. But SMBs don’t have unlimited budgets. In fact, this study also shows that lack of budget is tied for the number one spot in the ranked list of challenges that SMBs face in using technology to support their businesses (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Top Technology Challenges for SMBs
This means that they need to carefully prioritize their investments and determine whether to buy or lease in any given area—technology or otherwise. The PCaaS model—similar to the software-as-a-service model—can help allows them to amortize PC expenditures over time, with a predictable price per seat model—and financing if desired. This frees up capital for the strategic expenditures that will help them to create true differentiation and value in the market.
Many SMBs also suffer from a dearth of IT resources— “we don’t have adequate IT staff or skills to support technology” is tied for the number two slot in terms of SMB technology challenges. PCaaS for Business provides integrated device support, so internal IT staff can focus on more strategic projects that can help grow the business.
In addition, Dell’s PCaaS for Business can help SMBs provide employees with refreshed products and automated, proactive support—which is critical to help keep those employees happy and productive.
And at the end of the PC life cycle, Dell will pick up your old devices, wipe them clean of any sensitive data, and dispose of them in a secure, environmentally sound manner.
PCaaS isn’t right for every SMB, but does provide some great benefits, especially for those in growth mode.
Shifting PC procurement from a permanent, capital expenditure to an operating expense may be most obvious reason from a financial standpoint. But the ability to provide employees with more up-to-date, well-maintained devices—with less stress on internal IT resources—may be the most strategic one.
Finally, when its time to retire those old PCs, Dell’s PCaaS model helps to ensure that they are properly disposed of—so you don’t need to worry about whether they’re sitting in drawers or closets, potentially putting your valuable data at risk.