What is DaaS and how does it benefit small businesses?

14th April 2021
What is DaaS and why it can benefit your business

What is DaaS?

DaaS stands for Device as a Service. Devices, in this case, relates to tech hardware, such as a business’s computers, tablets, smartphones etc.

On a Device as a Service subscription, instead of a company buying all their tech hardware outright, they pay a monthly subscription to lease the devices for less money upfront, along with a host of other benefits.

It’s a straightforward concept but can still be confusing for many businesses since there are actually several different concepts known as DaaS in modern business tech. Anagrams can occasionally complicate what they seek to simplify.

HardSoft provides Device as a Service, not to be confused with other subscriptions that bear the name DaaS, for example, Data as a Service or Desktop as a Service. The former refers to third parties providing data to companies via a cloud platform. This data could be essential for their marketing, or for research etc.

It is not dissimilar to SaaS – Software as a Service, except it’s the data that you get with a subscription rather than access to software and its features. SaaS is where the ‘as a service’ notion started.

However, if we look at both business and personal use, many items, forms of entertainment, and services are moving to subscription models rather than one off purchases. Music in the form of Apple Music, television in the form of Netflix and Amazon Prime, even Amazon marketplace is offering subscriptions to items, in addition to one off purchases.

Subscriptions save the customer time and money, giving value for something they will use repeatedly. They are great for small businesses as they guarantee a positive cashflow and stability each month.

Desktop as a Service is a subscription-style IT service where an organisation’s desktop and apps are provided by a third-party IT company, who hosts it in the cloud.  It can make working remotely more secure.

With Device as a Service, businesses (particularly smaller businesses) can solve their hardware problems by having a tax and cash flow friendly solution that gives access to the most advanced hardware and incredible support from IT experts. It is one of the most flexible and customisable hardware supply chain solutions on the market today.

How Does Devices as a Service Work ?

With Device as a Service (DaaS), hardware manufacturers offer their devices on a subscription model with added productivity apps and security software.

DaaS is a relatively new concept. In 2015, no major PC manufacturers offered a DaaS solution. By 2019 that changed, with 65% of major PC makers offering DaaS solutions. DaaS is here to stay too, with reports indicating that 75% of organisations will be offering a subscription-based service by 2023.

Explaining how devices as service work

As part of your small business’s growth, you’ll need more people and more teams. New employees require the right devices to produce their best work. Unfortunately, the latest tech can be costly, and paying upfront for equipment can bring cash flow issues. These devices will also depreciate over time and will eventually need to be replaced.

Another challenge that companies have faced this year is management and deployment. With most employees now Working From Home (WFH), the previous method of procuring and managing IT isn’t possible. Many businesses have relied on their own IT team to pre-configure and install devices and deliver them to the employee’s desks. Since the pandemic, this approach isn’t always possible, and devices now need to be shipped to remote workers.

Our DaaS solution fits your everchanging needs. Devices for Teams allows you to add or remove devices without penalty! We deliver and collect the devices, and you only pay for what you use! With Devices for Teams, you make small cash flow friendly payments monthly or quarterly, so you can equip your teams with the right devices, without the upfront cost! 

This solution includes deployment, 3-years warranty, tech support (30mins SLA response time), pre-configurations, optional accidental damage cover, and loan devices with repairs! We also offer additional services to allow you to remotely manage and secure your devices (Apple Business Manager, Microsoft AutoPilot etc.)

With a DaaS solution upgrades, support and additional security are part of the package. As devices age, you can automatically upgrade them, so you’ll never have slow, obsolete machines slowing down productivity. You can also upgrade so that devices always fit the changing needs and roles of your team and business operations.

How is DaaS Different to Leasing?

Previously, we found that delivering tech solutions using external underwriters was becoming too complicated. This process was slow, disconnected, and created confusion with direct debit mandates and accounting. HardSoft wanted to provide a complete end-to-end leasing solution to complement our subscription model, which is why we founded HardSoft Leasing Ltd in January 2019!

With our own internal financial services company, we have complete control over underwriting, and freedom to approve leases! We can deliver decisions quickly, create a Master Agreement to give you credit for future orders, and our team can send you the paperwork by electronic signature, with zero admin fees! We also organise DDM and we’re available to answer questions!

We found that with most manufacturers will agree to a DaaS solution for computers, but then hand over customers to a separate leasing company who could be slow and cause issues. Why complicate things? By taking care of the whole process, HardSoft can pre-approve a credit limit for you for future orders and provide next day delivery! While HardSoft Computers Devices for Teams offers a unique scheme, Hardsoft Leasing provides the background to support this.

Device as a Service is a type of lease, but it is quite different and far more comprehensive in its customer service than standard leasing.

In regular leasing options, you do gain the benefits of a lower upfront cost, but DaaS comes with so many added extras in areas of:

  • Support
  • Security software
  • Automatic upgrades,
  • Advice
  • Productivity and more

It isn’t just the supply of hardware for a lower, ongoing price, it is a tailored and flexible system to match the rapidly changing pace of modern business and technology.

Why is DaaS Better for Small Businesses?

A meeting in an office

There are a lot of hardware supply chain solutions out there for large-scale enterprises, However, smaller, growing companies are often left out without a solution that properly fits their needs.

Small businesses require rapid service for their sizable staff and the flexibility to help them grow without bottlenecking their service to customers.

DaaS is an excellent approach for a range of industries and varying business sizes. Yet it is ideal for smaller enterprises looking to add scale and pivot their operations for the best growth.

How the Pandemic Made Device as a Service Essential

While DaaS is a relatively new phenomenon, it has always offered big rewards for businesses. Businesses that have been early adopters have:

  • More money on hand for other investments
  • Better quality of work output
  • Greater productivity
  • Happier staff
  • The ability to shift operations and roles as needed without worrying about the limits of their devices.

But during the pandemic, DaaS wasn’t just a benefit, it was crucial. Savvy businesses already with Daas had a seamless and safe transition to staff working from home.

They could swiftly swap to laptop and tablets and have these delivered easily and already setup to their newly remote workers. Not only this, but the added security in these DaaS devices meant that these businesses didn’t have to worry about old personal devices or human error causing data breaches.

Those that didn’t have DaaS either had to:

  • Force staff to work unnecessarily and dangerously in the office.
  • Or work on outdated, unreliable home devices.
  • Or wait ages for a new appropriate device.

Why DaaS Will Remain Popular Post Lockdown

Sadly, COVID won’t go away just because lockdown ends or there is a vaccine. Working in the office will get easier but the vaccine is not 100% and there are constantly emerging variants.

Additionally, some people remain more vulnerable than others, and it would be discriminatory to disadvantage or not hire these workers under UK law.

On top of this, many employees have proved their jobs can be done remotely, they save money and time from commuting and have a better work life balance and quality of life. They don’t want to give that up and en masse will not be so easily swayed to accept anything else when remote working has been proven successful.

The desire for continued home working isn’t exclusively employee driven. Businesses can save huge amounts of money in office costs, heating, lighting, renting.

Now that many businesses have adapted to home workers, it is likely that they are here to stay, at least partially. This makes DaaS even more crucial going forward as businesses must offer different ways of working to their staff.

What is D4T?

D4T stands for Device for Teams. This is Hardsoft’s very own, branded DaaS solution.

On top of all the features of a standard DaaS subscription, D4T brings additional extras to make it even more flexible for businesses.

We understand that technology is changing swiftly, but so too is the economy, the pandemic situation, and the needs of your businesses.

Companies may want to add scale quickly, but others may need to scale down certain departments, or change the way their staff work completely.

By analysing our customers’ requirements through prosperous and challenging times, Hardsoft have improved upon the regular Device as a Service offerings and taken it to the next level. Our packages are the most flexible on the market and allow businesses to adapt at lightning speed.

What Are the Benefits of Devices For Teams?

  • Better cashflow and tax friendly – Opex payments. More money to spend on other investments.
  • 360 support wrapper.
  • Business assessment and advice on which devices will best suit your staff, circumstances, operations and goals.
  • No obsoletion – Automatic upgrades to the latest devices.
  • Flexibility – Scale up or down as needed.
  • Safety – Great for hybrid workers, commuters, remote workers and for working from home in the pandemic.
  • Productivity – Faster, more agile machines with the best apps and security.
  • Trust and reliability – Hardsoft are trusted partners of Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Lenovo, and HP with over 20 years’ experience.

Why is Hardsoft’s DaaS Solution Unique?

  • Additional support and advice.
  • Greater customisation of your subscription.
  • No penalties for returns.
  • Mix and match devices from different manufacturers.
  • No hidden finance company.
  • Less red tape and bureaucracy.

While most DaaS solutions come with far more advantages than standard leasing, few can compare to Hardsoft’s offering.

Nearly all major manufacturers are now providing DaaS, such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, Microsoft Surface. However, when you go direct with their DaaS solutions, it makes it challenging to source different devices, or have support in the selection process.

You tend to get stuck with one type of device e.g., all HP devices. Hardsoft are authorised resellers of Apple and all premium PC manufacturers like Microsoft, Lenovo, Dell, HP, etc. We are one of the only suppliers where you can truly mix and match devices in a DaaS solution.

business in a meeting

Every department is different, and we appreciate that businesses have unique requirements from their DaaS solutions. We work with a range of businesses across different sectors, all of whom were attracted to the solution for different reasons and are now enjoying the benefits!

In addition to a true mix and match for your devices, Hardsoft are unrivalled in the ease of returns.

Whether you want to flex up or down with your device subscription, we can help. Unlike other DaaS providers, there is no faff and no penalties for returns.

On top of all this, we’re the most financially transparent DaaS provider. We work with you on this customised experience, and there are no hidden finance companies in the background. This means we handle all the finance, device configuration, deployment, and logistics of your subscription. It’s all just Hardsoft. No silent third parties. This means less risk, less faff, no red tape or bureaucracy and no waiting.

We’re the leading Computer Leasing company in the UK for the last 20 years! This experience has allowed us to be experts in technology, leasing, and finances, enabling us to provide customers the best solutions for their IT needs. We currently offer over six different types of solutions to our customers, ensuring we have a solution to fit every business.

We pride ourselves on being the UK’s highest rated Apple Authorised Reseller on Trustpilot, boasting a 4.8 customer rating! 65% of our business comes from existing customers, and we aim to make a difference to the way our customers finance, manage, and support their IT. Our experts will give you the best advice available and build your perfect IT solution.