On a global front, PC as a service (PCaaS) is garnering a good deal of attention lately. There are a few queries that need to be explored. For one, what exactly constitutes PC as a Service? What are the driving factors for PCaaS adoption? What is the need for this technology at this moment in time? Let’s see if we can answer some of these questions.
What is PCaaS?
PC as a Service can be defined as the combined package of hardware, software, lifecycle services and financing. This is all offered as a package from a single provider with a fixed monthly price for every employee in a particular business no matter what the size of the company is (small, medium or large enterprises). Presently, this service is evolving gradually with more options for mobility, data management and security applications being developed. There is a continuous movement towards IT and digital transformation for most enterprise users with an ever-increasing adoption of technologies such as cloud computing, analytics and social media. PCaaS offers a business model that is ideal for most enterprise companies experiencing a significant increase in their mobile workforce.
PCaaS and the Product Lifecycle
Apart from providing the latest version of devices, the PCaaS model also offers additional bundled services. This includes pre-installed all the necessary software (OS, Apps, Security, etc.) and software updates on a recurring basis. With a PCaaS model, vendors are engaging with their business customers throughout the device lifecycle allowing vendors the opportunities to provide support, maintenance and other services as and when required. To ensure that PCaaS will become the preferred business model for businesses, vendors will need to be able to offer financial assistance to these customers. To this end, many vendors are offering new initiatives to promote PCaaS in tandem with various financing organizations.
PCaaS – Added Advantage over a Traditional PC Procurement Method
A Win-Win Situation for All Players
Let’s look at how PCaaS is affecting the various players.
- Due to a lower demand for PCs and their longer lifecycle, PCaaS would be an alterative business model increasing profits to PC vendors. This model would also enable PC vendors to reduce their present on hand inventories.
- PC vendors would be able to initiate a longer engagement with enterprise customers throughout the device’s lifecycle extending their role beyond just a traditional hardware seller.
- Reseller/Channel Partners
- PCaaS model facilitates resellers to expand their product portfolio offerings based on the customers’ specific needs.
- They are supported by other players in the PCaaS ecosystem for all unpredictable risks, the services offered and financial assistance.
- Enterprise Customers
- PCaaS alters the spending pattern from a one-time CAPEX mode to the smaller, monthly recurring operational cost.
- Existing IT staff can be utilized in key strategic organizational IT initiatives since they would be free from the day-to-day PC management tasks. A PCaaS model also reduces the refreshment cycle.
- With a PCaaS model, millennial/tech-savvy employees can prioritize their work with more device flexibility within an efficient IT environment.
Making a Long-Term PCaaS Model Work
To develop PCaaS as the new-age business model and enhance its popularity among enterprises, all players need to work together developing each other’s capabilities and infrastructure. The role of channel partners is vital in this endeavor since PC vendors require a wide and robust network of partners to reach out to enterprise-users with their PCaaS offerings. Also, collaboration with a software expert is required to provide regular services and solutions. All other players having capabilities in different technological areas (e.g. security, data management, cloud, mobility) are required to join the evolving PCaaS ecosystem to extend its reach and influence.
Need of the Hour
The PCaaS adoption journey has only begun. It is likely to evolve further with a greater understanding of the ever-changing future needs of consumer PC users. Therefore, the PCaaS model has been designed to offer flexible, affordable and customized product & services offerings. At the same time, increased awareness of its value propositions, benefits and return on investments, change of mindset among potential users and innovative marketing strategies by vendors are the need of the hour to take the PCaaS model to the next phase.
Finally, the growth prospective of the PCaaS model for consumer PC users can be viewed as aligned with the mobile device market wherein vendors are offering a smartphone (the upgraded model) pre-loaded with all security, insurance, social media, brand specific software and entertainment apps with monthly payment options over the contract term. In coming years, PCaaS could evolve into a model like the mobile device market, enabling vendors to tap the PC market in small and medium business circles.
~ Arpana Bharti, Market Analyst