According to industry watchdogs, the next five years will see the market for PC deliveries stabilize in a way that we haven’t seen yet. Canalys predicts that shipments will decline by just over 2.1 percent. This is the smallest decline for the market in four years.
People are coming back to PCs because the migration to Windows 10 is finally complete. The market is also moving away from Skylake Intel chips to newer, cutting edge processors. The PC OS is stabilizing, and the vendors are following suit. Customers who are still using Windows 7 will be targeted with upgrade sales teams. Vendors are also investing in DaaS (Device as a Service) upgrades that automate refresh cycles contractually.
Will DaaS Become a Revenue Stream?
The challenge for channel partners and end users is to move past operational structures geared towards a transactional model. However, DaaS is quickly gaining popularity among businesses who are looking to move into a subscription cost model. This model also gets rid of the need to manage and dispose of hardware.
Providers and manufacturers within the industry are all moving towards a service restructuring. DaaS is moving into AI and IoT, and marketing strategies for the movement are becoming more prevalent. These efforts have increased the number of PCs shipping with a DaaS agreement, according to IDC. By 2020, the percentage of PCs shipping through a DaaS agreement will grow from one percent to 15 percent.
Major Companies Backing the DaaS Model
Lenovo, HP and Dell are three major tech companies now offering DaaS. The service is further driven by the rising adoption of subscription models. Companies now have the advantage of moving tech acquisition from the capital expenditures column into the more fruitful operating expenses column. This seemingly small change helps many businesses to increase the amount of cash that they have moving into strategic initiatives.
There is also a huge advantage that comes with outsourcing services shipped with more than one OS. Using the latest tech to access data migration, support, recycling efforts and device configuration is a huge benefit. End user productivity increases while compliance with policy and total desk volume goes down.
PC as a service will likely see more incorporation into the mainstream because of the training programs accompanying many of them. For instance, HP is offering DaaS training in a channel program that it calls “HP Partner First.”
Programs like this are meant to inform DaaS specialists at companies of the latest solutions in the burgeoning industry. HP also provides specialists with tools and analytics as well as financing and marketing support.
Companies With Different Approaches
With all of the attention that is being put into DaaS, channel partners are less concerned about if they will adopt. The question is when and how. End users can expect a great look at the service before long no matter what channel they find themselves frequenting.
One IT MSP from South Carolina, is taking a “device agnostic” approach. Why? The most relevant consumers have access to a variety of devices. These are the users who fuel the most growth. Service providers also have better conversations with the decision makers within a company who deal with devices on a variety of scales. It is even more important to talk directly to people who oversee the tech alongside the budget. In many ways, DaaS is a discussion about opportunity cost – operational dollars against capital dollars.
DaaS companies will have to figure out how to customize different solutions for different scenarios. Companies of every scale will look to their expertise to pick the right hardware and software for a wide array of uses.
DaaS and Mobile
IDC did not take any numbers for the mobile environment, including tablets and smartphones. However, they predict these numbers will move in the same way as desktop workstation numbers. The big boys in the space are prioritizing DaaS support for the mobile world. HP is already offering DaaS support for all Apple devices, including Macs, iPhones and iPads.
Microsoft also has a Surface as a Service program that will help along this trend. Among others, IDC thinks of the Surface in the same way that it would see a tablet. This kind of overlap helps to push the DaaS market along the mainstream.
Growth in Channel Sales
Because the market is set to grow so quickly, DaaS is going to make a difference for many different kinds of channel players, depending on their current position. For instance, if an IT provider has a stable hardware base, then it needs service capabilities. However, MSPs with no infrastructure for managing inventory will need to learn this skill before the company will be able to take full advantage of DaaS.
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