Don't Fall for a Trojan HaaS

January 31, 2023

Don't Fall for a Trojan HaaS

Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) is a powerful way to procure end-user computing equipment. It offers an effective way to conserve cash, keep IT equipment off your balance sheet, and keep your employees happy with the most up-to-date equipment. When combined with self-service automation, HaaS is an attractive path for organizations looking to better serve remote workers.

However, not all HaaS offerings are good for your fiscal health and you should be wary of wheeling them through your gates, lest you allow a great looking model to let in an unseen enemy.

Why HaaS makes sense for so many organizations

HaaS is a pay-as-you-go model that enables organizations to pay a monthly or annual fee for hardware. The underlying cost model frees up cash flow by transforming capital purchases into recurring subscription costs. Particularly in more challenging economic environments, HaaS helps companies extend cash runway and focus investments in areas that have a much higher ROI than buying laptops.

In addition, HaaS creates an automatic refresh cycle that ensures that workers stay updated with tech that keeps them productive. According to a ZenBusiness survey from *before* the pandemic, over 50% of employees say their workplace technology is outdated, with computers being the most common outdated technology.

It has only gotten harder to keep employees refreshed as the workforce distributes across the world ` Tokyo to Paris.

HaaS is part of a transformational remote work IT process

When it comes to serving remote workers, the Achilles heel of many IT organizations is equipping them with efficiency and positive employee experience. Coordinating procurement and logistics for timely onboarding, support, refresh, and offboarding cycles of a distributed workforce is not what most end user computing teams and processes were built for.

That’s why Firstbase exists. We offload the entire process of equipping remote workers across the employee journey, and manage the entire lifecycle of critical equipment like laptops, tablets, and other computing devices, while supplying ergonomic furniture, and accessories. We facilitate this by offering a SaaS application for IT, HR and other teams to manage the workflows and deliver a delightful employee experience. We then execute a full range of procurement, logistics, and IT processes from our global facilities.

As part of this solution, Firstbase offers you procurement flexibility. You can purchase equipment outright, procure via HaaS subscriptions, or even buy your own and send it to us. HaaS is a great option, but we know that what enterprises need to best serve their remote workforce is a flexible set of options.

Thinking of HaaS and other equipment procurement options as one part of a digitally transformed business process served by Firstbase is the right context. Buying equipment isn’t the goal. Supporting employees well so they can be their most engaged, productive, and innovative while freeing IT to focus on higher value-add projects is the goal.

That’s why it’s important to watch out for offerings that dress up as transformational, but may hide unpleasant surprises.

What is a Trojan HaaS offering?

Let me share something that isn’t a secret: selling laptops isn’t a high margin business.

Guess what else? Shipping stuff also isn't a very high margin business. If you’re running a business that primarily ships laptops and a few other things out to employees for onboarding, that’s a tough business to be in. I’m just being honest. You can build an app and you definitely deliver some value that way, but it’s simply not transformational to ship laptops.

The reason is that if IT can’t get out of the full-time job of supporting the employee journey and the equipment lifecycle, including break-fix issues, retrieving and being able to inventory equipment for reuse, then IT can’t pivot to more valuable initiatives. In addition, it’s very difficult to retain IT professionals when half their job is shipping things. Excessive IT turnover leads to business continuity risks. Bad all the way around.

So how does a solution provider that doesn’t transform the full lifecycle try to run a viable business? There’s only so much you can really charge for just shipping, right? That’s when the hidden enemy emerges from the belly of the beast: HaaS-only procurement

We’ve heard customers share about outrageous HaaS subscription rates on laptops. I’m talking about 2x the purchase price per year outrageous. Troy ounces of gold outrageous. Usually these providers don’t offer purchase options, and usually they don’t have anywhere to store any of your inventory, so they can’t retrieve, repair, and hold. Nor can they allow you to procure your own and send to them.

Here’s the other potential surprise to be wary of. If you see this sort of massive markup on HaaS, you should be concerned about the long-term viability of the solution provider.

Don’t fall for it!

Don’t fall for the Trojan HaaS. Transform your full remote equipment lifecycle instead. Want to learn more? Request a demo today.