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Hardware-as-a-Service: 4 Ways in which Every Small Business can Benefit

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HardwHardware as Serviceare-as-a-Service – aka HaaS – may not yet be a term you are overly familiar with, but if you or your business are looking at ways to streamline and normalize your Information Technology spend, Hardware-as-a-Service is a great place to start.

In order to gain a better understanding of Hardware-as-a-Service, one need only consider SaaS or Software-as-a-Service, the software-based precursor to HaaS. Up until only recently, the vast majority of companies bought all of their software up-front – e.g. 100 copies of Office at $x each.

But the trend now is for companies to purchase their software on a SaaS model instead of an outright purchase. It makes total sense: pay only for what you need, get new versions as they become available, and be perpetually up to date with the always important support for when things go wrong (as they inevitably do from time to time).

With those considerations in mind, it is no great leap to see how this can also work for hardware as it does for software. So… on to our 4 reasons your business may be able to realize the benefits of Hardware-as-a-Service.

Reason #1 – Normalize Your Expenses Budgeting for IT expenses is hard. It can be very much hit and miss which is incidentally why many companies now opt for Managed Services – it’s about gaining control of cost. Not only does Hardware-as-a-Service (when coupled with Managed Services) allow businesses to calculate with extreme accuracy their entire IT costs from January 1st to December 31st of any given year or multiple of years, but it also greatly reduces capital expenditures by transferring cost from Cap Ex to Op Ex. Most IT providers who offer HaaS usually bundle in the Managed Services cost thereby further simplifying the cost structure. One monthly fee to one provider – what could be easier?

Reason #2 – Ultimate Control of Resources These days, it’s all about the cloud. Don’t get me wrong – cloud services are fantastic and we successfully provide many cloud services to our clients. But it isn’t always the right fit for a number of reasons, not the least of which are dedicated compute resources. Many cloud offerings are built on a “shared resources” model meaning your compute power is shared across a vast “server farm” of multi-tenant servers and storage units. In many cases that is not a problem but some dedicated processes – such as database applications – just run better on hardware totally dedicated to the task. Plus, you can still deploy them in a cloud-like fashion. It will just be a private cloud as opposed to a public one.

Reason #3 – Say So Long to Obsolescence A Hardware-as-a-Service solution not only guarantees repair or replacement of defective hardware, but also provides an avenue to remaining current with state-of-the-art technology. This goes a long way to alleviating much of the angst and consternation that usually accompanies IT purchases – especially the regularly occurring 3 to 4 year major infrastructure upgrades. A HaaS solution usually includes cyclical hardware refreshes and in many cases also covers the labour required to implement said upgrades. All the client need do is continue to make the monthly payments as per Reason #1.

Reason #4 – New Gear is Good This could easily be a subset of Reason #3, but besides not getting caught in the obsolescence trap is the benefit of new gear on a regular basis. Outdated infrastructure can be costly to a small business. Higher maintenance and upkeep costs, expensive warranty re-ups (or worse yet, defective components without a warranty), poorer productivity, and failures resulting in lost data, to mention but a few areas of concern. Newly installed technology on a regular basis ensures your company always has access to the highly efficient resources required to keep you agile, competitive and profitable.

Hardware-as-a-Service can deliver even more benefits to a small or medium sized business than those detailed here. A thorough IT assessment by your trusted MSP is the best way to determine if HaaS is the way to go for your business.