How Device as a Service can help address end-user technical debt

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Software developers use the term “technical debt” to describe the impact of code shortcuts used in the creation of applications. However, we also see the term used more generally in IT and business to describe the impact of other tactical decisions such as sweating assets, delaying upgrades, and reliance on legacy systems, software, and hardware.

At time of writing, the pandemic shut down has passed its first anniversary. In response to the shutdown, many organizations had to rapidly shift focus to deliver seamless experiences to their employees. This resulted in many organizations reallocating budget to non-strategic projects, or worse, taking on credit debt to fund technology purchases that enabled the organization to remain functional.

As you analyzed your 2020 spend, much like you might review your credit card statement after the holidays, you probably realized how much budget was consumed by unplanned expenses. But that doesn’t mean you can avoid spending on the things that were put on hold as a result, or that there’s any additional money available.

While many end users have received new devices to enable remote working, others are still working on equipment that is overdue for replacement. This has a negative impact on both productivity (as apps start to slow down or more time is spent talking to the help desk) and employee satisfaction (employees just want the equipment to work, so they can do their jobs). But refreshing and supporting this technology is fraught with logistical problems now that we can no longer assume that employees are working on site.

As we move into a new “business as usual” with hybrid working becoming the norm, organizations need to think of new, efficient, and cost effective ways to refresh old technology to a distributed workforce.

Enter: Device as a Service (DaaS), the answer to the technical debt dilemma.

How does DaaS help with technical debt?

There are two ways that DaaS helps manage end-user technical debt:

Softens the spending impact

By leveraging DaaS (sometimes also referred to as PC as a Service or PCaaS), IT organizations can eliminate the need to expend large amounts of capital in order to deliver and manage the modern devices that enable their hybrid workforce to work from anywhere at any time.

Generally, if an organization has not yet fully deployed modern devices to all users, the probability of being able to make a large device purchase is less likely right now, whether because of limited capital availability or the CFO’s desire to retain as much cash as possible. By adopting an opex model, specifically DaaS, organizations can deploy modern devices while retaining cash, reducing financial risk, and spreading the cost of both the device and support.

Supports the hybrid workforce

With hybrid working here to stay, IT staff are managing the complexities of a dispersed end-user base. This brings with it the burden of a significant addition of administrative and logistical tasks, including provisioning devices to remote users, and the challenge of being unable to deliver services at sites that are still running due to enhanced safety procedures. Not to mention an increase in service desk tickets and time spent troubleshooting issues and assets outside your organization’s control.

Your organization may have a policy of not troubleshooting home networks, displays, printers, and peripherals … but that isn’t to say that your team doesn’t do this, especially when they are committed to keeping your business productive and maintaining a positive user experience.

Adopting DaaS lightens the workload of an already stretched IT team by reducing the need for your staff to facilitate and manage deployments, break/fix tickets, and end-of-life logistics. Combined with the likelihood of a much lower price point compared to financing the devices alone, DaaS further reduces the accumulation of technical debt.

Other ways DaaS benefits businesses

Reduces pressure on IT teams

A third party like SHI offers proven methodologies, proprietary tools, and execution practices that many internal IT organizations cannot easily replicate. The result is more efficient deployment, reduced support costs, and increased user satisfaction.

Contractual responsibilities for the management and (re)deployment of your devices are enforced by strict SLAs. This model not only provides an incentive to the service provider to ensure uptime for end-user systems that meets the agreed SLA, but it also enables your IT teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.

By focusing your IT staff on strategic projects, you reduce your need for more expensive external consultancy, bring business knowledge as well as technical expertise into the mix, and enable your employees to grow. This provides an opportunity to boost morale, especially after your team helped keep the organization running over the last year. Cost savings and low employee turnover equates to less technical debt.

Enhances the user experience

Speaking of morale, let’s not forget the folks who are working from their dining room tables, musty attics, and home office closets. In a time of continued uncertainty, end users need to trust that their organization will provide a consistent, positive experience via a modern device and secure access to applications and data. More importantly, access to a digital environment that closely replicates equivalent access to working behind the “firewall” at your organization’s facilities.

Will an organization that wishes to reduce or eliminate technical debt, has an overtaxed IT staff, and a lower risk tolerance than a year ago be able to sustain the delivery of such a user experience?

End users don’t want to have to travel to an office, sitting masked and isolated in an empty room while they wait for IT to provision, fix, or replace a device that then has to be sanitized when they return home. Organizations that institute a DaaS program for their end-user systems will be able to guarantee a positive and productive user experience.

Manage devices, spending, and your end-user experience

By adopting a DaaS program, you have an option that allows you to easily plan your device costs, alleviate your technical debt, and hopefully prevent technical debt from becoming a chronic problem. Yup, that was a Dre pun.

For more information on how DaaS can help you provision, support, and manage end-user devices in the era of hybrid work, register today for SHI’s Hybrid Workforce webinar series.

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