The modern workplace is going through major changes, led and enabled by digital transformation. This has been accelerated by the pandemic, which forced most employees to move from fixed to mobile devices, and IT teams to rethink workstations. Where IT professionals once considered desktops, they now consider users. Recent research by Ricoh UK ‘Leading Change at Work: Devising Your Digital Workplace Strategy’, found that one of the main challenges for ITs has been to support employees in the shift from fixed to portable devices and their continuing tech needs. The report shows the need for a single device that can be easily used from anywhere, demonstrating the need for simplification and adaptability in hardware never previously encountered.
John Chambers is Director of IT, Communications & Business Process Services at Ricoh UK.
As IT departments have had to rapidly adapt to support the tech needs of users in multiple locations, business leaders have increasingly turned to DaaS as a highly cost effective way of addressing this transition. It is no wonder, then, that device as a service (DaaS) is one of the fastest-growing solutions businesses have been investing in since the start of the pandemic, with 46% of organizations having accelerated investment in remote working infrastructure over the last year. At the same time, spending on DaaS almost doubled in 2020 to $1.2bn, a figure projected to reach $1.9bn in 2021 and $2.5bn in 2022. A recent report by Gartner also shows that the number of users for DaaS will grow by over 150% between 2020 and 2023.
Firstly, it ensures your employees always have the latest device technology to optimize productivity and performance. Secondly, DaaS uses a digital experience assessment to identify each business’s unique current and future digital transformation requirements, allowing companies to operate a step ahead of potential problems. This, along with a regular refresh cycle, ensures optimum asset management, never allowing devices to go past warranty.
Not only does this have the potential to increase a business’s productivity, but it fixes challenges before they are even noticed, meaning no employee, whether working from home or in the office, must wait around for their computer to update. This is especially useful to ensure the constant inclusion of those working from home, who may find it hard to remain online if their device suddenly needs to restart or update itself.
Importantly, DaaS offers best-in-class IT security that is always up to date, ensuring that work done inside or outside the office is secure. Without refreshing and renewing digital solutions like these across all devices, businesses can never be sure if their employees are logging into identical, fully functioning online workspaces.
As the world of work now depends on the consistency, security and efficiency of technology, it is essential for businesses and employees alike to leverage DaaS to provide access the tools they need to work productively.
The tailored bundle
DaaS can be the final piece of the puzzle by providing tailored packages of bundled hardware, software, and managed services. It can enable businesses to affordably increase productivity and collaboration through their devices to work best for them.
At Ricoh, as a DaaS provider, we have a unique insight into the intricacies of DaaS. As such, we have witnessed time and again employee satisfaction increasing through empowerment and digital sophistication, as well as the peace of mind DaaS offer to enterprises with managed data and IT security protocols. Daas can break down business siloes and ensure future-proof and forward-thinking strategies while controlling cash flow with predictable subscription-based costs.
Making investments not taking risks
For organizations, worldwide hardware and software investment is, and always will be, one of the most expensive outputs. Refreshing an entire business’ computing devices every three to four years alone is a lot, but consider additional expenditures such as procurement, implementation, training and support, and the costs rise even further.
At the onset of the pandemic and the transition to remote working, many businesses needed to impose quick rollouts to ensure business continuity. Ricoh’s recent ‘Leading Change at Work’ report found that the consequent increase in demand presented several challenges to IT departments, such as supplying and ensuring that laptops were able to reach the right people. It also found that there was a desperate need to integrate process and employee training on platforms such as Zoom, Teams or VPN connection. DaaS is a far less expensive way to enable this transition, and one that should be considered by businesses wanting to get ahead without setting themselves back financially.
Regular refresh cycles ensure optimum asset management, never going past warranty, and removes the time and cost of device management from your IT team. It also frees the team up to work on transformation projects instead of being tied up responding to support requests – a situation we all know well. This is clearly reflected in the figures: 44% of organizations say that bundling PCs and custom services into a single contract with monthly payments would strongly influence their choice of IT services provider. Similarly, 70% expect to transition from traditional CapEx finance models to subscription services (OpEx) for IT within three years. By choosing to regularly update all of their employees’ devices through bespoke packages, businesses can not only support workers anywhere but can boost productivity while saving capital that could be better used elsewhere.
Ultimately, it seems that the final piece of the workplace success puzzle is upon us: Device as a Service. It mitigates costs by taking devices such as laptops, desktops, tablets, and phones and bundling them with various services and software and will better facilitate those working from home and hybrid environments for the future. Tailored packages of devices, software, and managed services, provided on a monthly subscription basis per user, removes big capital expenditure from the balance sheet and saves money wasted on unused devices.
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John is the Director of IT and Communication Services at Ricoh UK. He has UK responsibility for strategy and execution across Ricoh’s Specialist Sales teams to deliver across IT, Communication, Workplace, Business Process and Application Services into the corporate, public sector and SMB markets.