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HaaS already an option for many customers

Hardware as a Service is a model already being used by plenty of customers according to research from Spiceworks

Some of the largest vendors are already lined up behind the idea of hardware as a service and customers are increasingly turning to that method of gaining their kit.

HP has been the most vocal about its belief that Desktop as a Service is going to be the future and research from Spiceworks has charted a rise in the popularity of the approach from customers.

The firm's 2019 State of Hardware as a Service, surveying customers across Europe and the US, found that 48% of businesses are already leasing one or more type of hardware.

The most common type of device being purchased via HaaS are printers but the expectation is that laptops, dekstops and tablets will also grow in popularity. Those using the model revealed that some of the services that appealed included parts replacement, hardware support and replacement and refresh along with device monitoring.

Although HaaS is usually coming from a channel provider only 17% of those quizzed by Spiceworks saw it as a threat to jobs in the IT department.

“HaaS providers have already found early success with the model, particularly with devices like printers that are often troublesome to support,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks.

There is some advice for those in the channel looking to increase HaaS sales, with the key one being to target those customers looking to reduce the burden on an already stretched internal IT team.

The other element to push in a HaaS pitch is the time benefits it will provide for those looking to spent their time trying to do some innovative IR, rather than just looking after the hardware estate.

“To further drive HaaS adoption, providers will have the most success targeting businesses that lack the manpower or geographic reach to adequately service devices in house in addition to businesses that are already sold on the leasing model. Considering the IT leasing and financing market is estimated to be a $234bn industry, even small shifts in buyer behavior can add up," added Tsai.

The Spiceworks research can be added to the numerous comments made on the subject by HP CEO Dion Weisler over the last 18 months and research that came from Panasonic towards the end of last year.

The Panasonic findings indicated that an increasing number of customers had heard about the option and wanted to use it for laptops, tablets and handhelds. The firm found that 76% of technology buyers were keen to buy hardware on a subscription basis, with cost their key consideration at the moment.

The Mobile Computing as a Service report found that the attraction of the flexible approach was the chance to avoid large one-off fees and the option to avoid getting stuck in a position years down the line sweating assets that should have been upgraded.

“With the rapid advances in design and functionality of mobile devices and the resulting productivity gains for mobile workforces, businesses are keen to keep up to date with the latest developments,” said Kevin Jones, managing director for the Panasonic Mobile Solution Business in Europe, back in December.

“This is resulting in an expensive capital expenditure every two-three years. But buyers are telling us that they would much rather move to a new subscription-based model, similar to the growing popularity of software as a service,” he added.

The benefits of HaaS

Those users that Spiceworks surveyed that had already started to use the HaaS approach listed the benefits they gained:

* 71% percent reported the HaaS model helped reduce time and resources required by the internal IT team.

* Nearly 50% said it improved troubleshooting and support and reduced the amount of obsolete technology

* just shy of 40% said using HaaS led to a lower total cost of ownership for devices and reduced expenses

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