More than just devices: Developing the 'PC as a Service' model

By Nick Offin, head of sales, marketing and operations at dynabook Northern Europe

As companies diversify to augment offerings and create new revenue streams, it falls to CIOs to make informed decisions on how to deliver these enhanced services. IT leaders, when making those decisions, have to contend with three key evolutions in today’s technology environment; the imminent arrival of 5G connectivity, ever diversifying security threats, and the proliferation of mobile working. As such, the channel’s role as a consultant in this evolving technological landscape has never been more prevalent. Fulfilling the demand to provide the right customer solutions in a quick, effective and reliable manner should be a key priority with which they can support IT leaders and demonstrate additional value.
The ‘PC as a Service’ concept, in which business devices and services are subscribed to rather than owned, is emerging as an effective business model to achieve a tech refresh not just now but on an ongoing basis. The opportunity to provide this via offering an enhanced range of solutions is available for the channel to take advantage of, providing greater levels of support to customers rather than simply selling devices alone.
Driven by hardware
Having said that, it is important to note that devices remain integral to the PC as a Service approach. As consumer devices become easier to use and workers become more au fait with the their increasing functionality, there is a risk staff will prefer such tools over their business devices and subsequently use them as an alternative. This brings obvious risks around security – according to a 2018 BYOD Security Report from Bitglass, less than a third of IT experts are confident in their cyber security practices for personal and mobile devices. Such data arms resellers with the argument that IT leaders need to ensure their business device fleet is kept up-to-date and secure – as well as being reliable, portable, and stylish. But on top of in-built security features such as biometric authentication, resellers can align with vendors who offer additional security solutions and services.
Increasingly mobile workforces operating across a range of devices provide a whole host of advantages to the enterprise but can put business information at risk. This gives resellers the opportunity to increase their solution portfolio. Data recovery services, such as those provided by vendors such as dynabook, offer an extra layer of reassurance should security be compromised or devices become lost, stolen or damaged.

Different devices for the diversifying landscape

Resellers can also add tremendous value to their proposition in assisting with the deployment of PCs across an enterprise workforce. This can be a time-intensive task within today’s increasingly advanced and complex IT architectures, incorporating cloud, IoT and edge solutions, and so the need to ensure a seamless roll-out and integration period, keeping downtime to a minimum, is essential. A Gartner report suggests network downtime of any description costs organisations anything from $140,000 to $540,000 per hour. The value of effective deployment support in removing these risks cannot be underestimated. Services which offer on-site installation, disablement of redundant devices and secure data migration across platforms all play a part in a seamless transition from old to new.
Support from end-to-end
Beyond deployment, lifecycle management is also increasingly important in this mobile world, particularly where devices can break or be lost or stolen while on the move. Similarly, organisations face an advanced cyber-threat landscape as criminals innovate with new techniques. What’s more, as workforces become increasingly fragmented geographically, the need for better collaboration becomes a necessity. This again comes back to operational efficiency and ensuring support is always there. Thus, IT leaders need PC as a Service for end-to-end support, from day one to day one thousand (and beyond). Resellers should embrace this role, and the opportunity it affords in terms of growing and future-proofing their revenue streams by offering ongoing support.

Why PC as a Service?

In order for businesses to be able to move with the ever evolving tech landscape and remain competitive, the timing of a refresh is key. CIOs must consider their current IT offering and its ability to be able to cope with changing environments. Within this new world, a tech refresh is about more than just devices – businesses need to consider how different technologies will play together within the broader infrastructure. This is where the channel comes in. Highlighting the the long term cost-effective nature of the model makes for a stronger case to act. Greater competition, greater user expectations and greater security threats all mean a seamless device fleet experience is essential from implementation through to end-of-life. A fully integrated PC as a Service option is key to achieving this, and the channel is best-placed to offer this consultancy with multi-solution and service offerings tailored to each individual customer’s needs.
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