How PC as a Service (PCaaS) Works for IT Teams
July 17, 2023
The remote work environment has experienced rapid growth in recent years. Managers must equip remote employees with up-to-date tech as part of this new landscape. PC as a Service (PCaaS) is a leasing model for hardware, often bundled with lifecycle services, that can help businesses address this challenge.
Procuring, configuring, and shipping PCs requires time and funding, which burdens organizations. Large companies with distributed workforces may be especially challenged in this regard. PCaaS takes the pressure off internal IT services by managing the equipment lifecycle. With PCaaS, organizations can simplify IT, reduce costs, streamline business needs, and improve the employee experience. Yet, PCaaS offerings are all different and can come with hidden complexities.
PCaaS is similar to software as a service (SaaS), where businesses pay subscription fees for software rather than purchasing it. Subscription-based services like SaaS and PCaaS offer advantages for companies, such as greater customization options, automatic upgrades, and built-in support. Most of all, subscription services take the burden of managing the lifecycle of businesses, allowing IT departments to focus on more strategic priorities.
Businesses have long utilized lease financing for IT equipment. However, dealing with costly and difficult-to-service equipment such as laptops and printers fell on the internal IT team. PCaaS is an example of the more extensive development of hardware as a service (HaaS), wherein businesses can benefit from bundles of managed services for hardware and related device management support to keep devices maintained and updated.
Components of PCaaS
PCaaS differs from traditional leasing, including bundled services such as initial delivery and retrieval, upgrades, security software, and productivity tools. Hardware arrives preconfigured so that your employees can get started right out of the box. If your team members need ongoing helpdesk support, repairs, or replacements, some PCaaS offerings also cover those services.
Modern versions of PCaaS have digitally transformed offerings for an all-in-one solution for remote IT needs. These digital services offer a centralized cloud-based procurement, tracking, and inventory management platform, allowing you to choose and ship desktops, laptops, and tech peripherals to your remote team members.
The most advanced versions of PCaaS flip the script by leading with lifecycle services and offering procurement flexibility so that you can lease or purchase from the PCaaS provider or even procure and supply your equipment to them. In other words, PCaaS doesn't strictly need to include leasing anymore.
What Are the Benefits of PCaaS?
The most apparent benefit of PCaaS is that it reduces tech support burdens for internal IT teams. According to an industry study, 71% of businesses using this service saw decreased tech support needs. Almost 40% of companies cited reduced operational expenditures (OpEx) as an additional benefit. PCaaS can help organizations scale and add talent to their teams without increasing fixed IT costs.
For remote employees, up-to-date tech is critical for productivity. PCaaS ensures that workers constantly have updated hardware for their home workspace. Since upgrades and replacements are built into the service model, PCaaS keeps equipment updated over the entire device lifecycle. You won't have to worry about the roadblocks that occur with device lifecycle management, like updating employee devices or finding a reseller to get rid of your old equipment in the future.
PCaaS also includes managed updates for software. Instead of manually updating the operating system and apps throughout the PC lifecycle, you can rely on the PCaaS model to automate personal computer updates. If your organization uses mobile devices, device-as-a-service (DaaS) providers cover updates and upfront provisioning for all devices so that each end-user can work efficiently with minimal downtime.
As PCaaS becomes the preferred choice for organizations, research demonstrating its benefits continues to emerge. According to whitepapers from Dell, PCaaS helps employers move towards an environmentally-friendly circular economy by reusing and recycling materials. Forrester case studies find that PCaaS resulted in a 20% reduction in device lifecycle service costs. The evolution of PCaaS in the coming decade is expected to bring increased savings and positive business impacts for corporations.
Implementing PCaaS in your organization
If you plan to implement PCaaS at your company, you'll want to customize your options. Consider cost and organization size when choosing a vendor. Is your company large and distributed? If so, you may opt for a robust service model that offers complete end-to-end equipment lifecycle management, security, planned upgrades, and support for repairs and replacements.
Smaller organizations may choose more budget-friendly, flexible lifecycle services that meet their needs. PCaaS has benefits for small organizations whose IT teams are stretched thin, so be sure to thoroughly examine the cost savings a PCaaS provider can offer. Be aware of device warranty details, asset recovery, data backup and destruction, and any other critical information to customize your service plan.
Be aware that PCaaS doesn't mean you can relax around your data security requirements. If you handle sensitive data regularly, you'll want to give special attention to endpoint management by utilizing mobile device management (MDM) to automatically manage software configuration and security updates for consistent device support. Remember endpoint security measures (antivirus, encryption services, etc.). That said, be sure to check the service-level agreements to ensure that your vendor is taking appropriate responsibility for the disposition of your devices.
Their workflows secure each endpoint through proper configurations and antivirus software. IT managers should be aware of the challenges of PCaaS. For example, device compatibility issues can arise with distributed teams. Vendor lock-in can also become problematic if the service is strictly tied to a single Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).
Your PCaaS offering should be vendor-neutral so you can choose the devices your workforce wants and needs. When choosing a PCaaS vendor, also be mindful of how much procurement flexibility they offer and how much additional costs are built into hardware leasing since they may add to unnecessary expenses.
Device management becomes a significant concern as businesses switch to a remote-first workplace. Remote employees need updated devices configured with the latest operating systems and security software. Laptops will require periodic upgrades, repairs, and replacements. The physical logistics involved with tech support and troubleshooting these needs adds an extra burden for IT teams serving distributed workforces.
PCaaS offers a powerful solution to these challenges when provided as a cloud-like digital service. When your organization relies on a service provider to manage the device lifecycle, you don't have to worry about tracking and procurement. Your employees can receive preconfigured, updated systems with complete tech support repair, replacement, and upgrade services throughout the equipment lifecycle. It's a powerful way to centralize cloud device management, so your remote employees can focus on getting things done, and your IT teams can be proactive.
Firstbase offers the industry's leading platform for flexible equipment procurement, including PCaaS and managed services. Request a demo to see how Firstbase can supercharge your organization's IT capabilities.