Did you know the average employee uses three or more devices every day for work-related activities? According to Citrix, the number of devices managed across the business enterprise increased by 72 percent from 2014 to 2015, and that number only continues to increase year over year. While multiple tech tools can help workers multitask and collaborate, additional devices complicate IT management. Sure, employees love having the ability to switch between their smartphones and work computers or send reports from a tablet while working remotely, but this convenience can strain IT resources.
There's good news: Spiceworks found that IT budgets are expected to stabilize—and even grow—in 2018. In fact, 44 percent of respondents expect their budgets to increase—a major boon to IT teams managing and securing hundreds of devices on a single network. The lower budgets of yesteryear and the high-security demands were the equivalent of a chef with a minimized food budget being asked to expand the restaurant menu while increasing seating for diners.
In an ideal world, IT teams would have the resources they need to stay on top of the multi-device workplace, and we just may get there this year—though nothing happens overnight. While budgets stabilize and businesses prioritize tech and security in 2018, IT teams are still pressed to find solutions that work for them right now.
Watch out for devices everywhere
The mobile workplace has its advantages. You can work anytime, anywhere without being shackled to a desk. This kind of mobility and flexibility can boost both productivity and job satisfaction. The downside—because there's always a downside—is that mobility can make device management a nightmare, especially when teams are stretched thin or if you're in the 11 percent of Spiceworks respondents that expect budgets to decrease this year.
According to an infographic based on a 2016 report from Tech Pro Research, about half of all companies have noticed minor changes in IT spending due to an increase in office devices, while 42 percent feel their support responsibilities have increased. How are IT teams supposed to deal with growing device management and security challenges?
Meet the new kid in the "service" industry
A few years ago, Software as a Service (SaaS) hit the scene and transformed IT forever. Today, there are "as a Service" offerings for just about anything you can think of: CRM, accounting, HR, workplace communication, marketing—you name it. Instead of investing heavily in technology up front and maintaining it themselves, businesses can adopt cloud services to lower initial costs, simplify deployment, and make upgrades and integration easier. In other words, the "as a Service" approach means businesses no longer need to estimate what their needs might be in the future, because they can scale as needed.
This model is poised to transform device management. As with balancing any budget, the key is to define priorities and find ways to reduce costs. For example, people on tighter budgets may find it cheaper to lease a car rather than buy one. The same can be said about devices. Instead of buying devices and taking on the maintenance and management costs, businesses might think differently about procurement and deployment—paying a monthly rate spreads out expenses in a simple-to-understand, predictable way.
Consider the advantages of Device as a Service
This is where Device as a Service (DaaS) solutions step in. HP DaaS solutions, for example, offload the time-consuming tasks of device support and lifecycle management while reducing purchasing complexity and improving cost predictability with simple plans that are easy to tailor and scale. With an HP DaaS solution, your organization can easily adapt to the evolving sizes and needs of the workforce.
DaaS can also assist IT teams in navigating the demands of an IT budget that has a lot riding on it. Solutions allow companies to deploy IT assets as needed, so they can efficiently weather seasonal changes, new product pushes, or layoffs. DaaS allows devices to be allocated as efficiently as possible, too. In other words, you won't have PCs gathering dust in supply closets or employees duking it out over who gets to take the tablet home for the weekend.
In addition, devices are expensive and depreciate over time. DaaS helps stabilize costs and makes them more transparent by preventing device lifecycles from getting too long. According to BizTech, devices are shifted from a capital expenditure to an operating expense, giving businesses more flexibility, as well. The DaaS model comes with built-in refreshes and upgrades, so employees will always have the best tools at their disposal without breaking the bank.
A third major benefit of DaaS is that it reduces IT workloads. The model can offload day-to-day management and other tasks to a third party, so in-house IT teams have more time to focus on critical tasks. For overtaxed IT teams with limited budgets, this is an appealing advantage.
Device as a Service helps companies struggling to handle the diversity of devices flooding into the office. The combination of innovative devices, lifecycle services, and expertise enables businesses to get the most out of IT environments while keeping costs under control. And speaking of costs, IDC revealed that about 25 percent of its survey respondents claimed they were actively looking into DaaS services, and that nearly 20 percent of those surveyed reported they had plans to do so in the next 12 months.
Why? DaaS allows IT managers to maintain the quality of management and security, regardless of if your budget grows, shrinks, or stays exactly the same in 2018. It offers the best of all worlds. If your office is struggling to overcome these types of IT challenges, start looking into DaaS solutions today. When tomorrow comes around, you'll be able to stop worrying about device management and put your attention toward more strategic IT initiatives.