What is Device as a Service (DaaS)?

Device as a Service (DaaS) is a paid service that caters to the offering of smartphones, laptops, PCs, and alternative mobile computing devices.

DaaS helps to ease the IT requirements of companies and organisations through the outsourcing of hardware, of software, as well as the equipment and software management to third-party providers.

By way of subscribing to a provider of DaaS, organisations are easily able to scale their IT requirements up or down on an as-needed basis. It also helps organisations to update hardware and software more rapidly and more frequently.

Hardware and software management services come together with device backups, cybersecurity, asset tracking, and disposal at end of life.

Not only do IT companies benefit from DaaS but various other organisations such as schools and colleges do, too. For example, a school board can place an order for a certain amount of tablets to fit in with the needs of all of their students.

A DaaS service starts out by way of a contract between DaaS vendor and the client. The contract specifies the number and type of hardware devices and software required. It also includes the length of time the client would like to keep the goods for.

Typically, payment works on a per-device basis.

Clients are unable to replace hardware and software products on an ad-hoc basis. Rather, and far more frequently, the signed contract will be on the provision of a two-to-three-year timeline.

Once the timeline has elapsed any number of devices and software can be exchanged via the provider.

Normally, devices will be delivered to the client with the agreed-upon software already installed. The software is inclusive of upgrade paths for updates and patches.

While the growth of DaaS may not seem very impressive, it did start out rather meagerly in 2014 with a mere 1 percent of PCs actually being shipped as part of the programme.

By 2020, according to research carried out by IDC, a global market intelligence firm, that growth is expected to have reached 12 to 15 percent of all laptops and desktop machines.

What are the Benefits of DaaS?

There are numerous benefits to DaaS, though, for now, arguably so, most of those benefits gratify the needs of smaller-sized startup IT organisations.

The benefits of DaaS are inclusive of:

  • Having the capacity to scale devices (and software) up or down as required.
  • Costs are pushed away from capital expenditure over to operation costs.
  • IT staff workload is greatly reduced in terms of time spent configuring devices.
  • Software updates and patches are automatically managed.

DaaS Examples in Operation

Perhaps the most well-known examples of DaaS in operation come from Hewlett Packard (HP) and Microsoft.

HP’s DaaS service is called HP Device as a Service. The options available range through desktops, commercial notebooks, to more specialised devices.

HP also offers hardware that belongs to other providers as part of its DaaS program. They furnish end-users with iPhones, Macs, as well as iPads.

Microsoft is another company that has an established DaaS initiative known as Surface as a Service.

Organisations that sign up to Surface as a Service are offered products via a monthly subscription package deal.

Microsoft’s Surface as a Service initiative offers devices in addition to services. For example, customers can take advantage of MS’s Surface Book and accessories, Office 365, Windows 10, ISV software, as well as full customer support.

How Does Device as a Service Compare to Desktop as a Service?

They – Device as a Service and Desktop as a Service – share the same acronym: DaaS. In turn, that can, and often does, lead to some confusion.

Nevertheless, there is a difference and that difference lies in what each service offers to its client base.

With Device as a Service, customers are offered physical hardware and software by way of a subscription model.

On the other hand, with Desktop as a Service, customers get cloud-computing services through a third party. In other words, there’s a virtual desktop that runs inside what is referred to as a virtual machine (VM).

The provider of Desktop as a Service hosts the backend of the deployment of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). The operating system runs inside a VM and the VM is located on a server and is provided through a cloud service.

Payment for Desktop as a Service is dependent on the number of virtual desktops the customer uses on a monthly basis.