The reason is simple. Companies that invested in Devices as a Service solutions for their hardware were able to rapidly flex and shift their approach to IT hardware in the wake of mandatory homeworking.
In short, those businesses were able to keep their staff safe by allowing them to work from home more easily. These companies did not suffer the negative consequences that other companies did because they were better prepared with their hardware supply strategy.
DaaS solutions, like Hardsoft’s Devices for Teams, work on a subscription basis for smaller monthly payments. Companies do not own the devices outright, they are leased.
With more cash to hand, and the ability to swap desktops for laptops etc, companies with DaaS could quickly give their staff the perfect, fully set up devices to work from home during the pandemic.
The Pitfalls of Business Without DaaS During Lockdowns
Companies without DaaS found it more complicated to get the right devices to their staff quickly. This left employees without devices to work on from home or working from home computers.
Home computers are:
- Often older and slower.
- Do not have the right software.
- Too old and not optimised to run the correct software.
- A cyber security hazard.
- Cheaper and of lesser quality than business models.
- Not optimised for productivity.
- Not set up with the right tools or telecommunication apps.
- Less powerful machines.
This results in a lot of downtimes and lost hours of work, at best.
At worst, those employees who did not have a passable home computer had to wait for a new device i.e., a laptop, tablet or smartphone to be supplied.
With old hardware sourcing methods, this could leave employees without the hardware they need to perform their duties.
Pandemic scenario without DaaS 1: Some staff reported waiting months and having to work unsafely in the office during lockdowns, owing to outdated supply chain systems for sourcing tech hardware in their companies. Research collated by Forbes showed that 44% of global respondents feel their company doesn’t have the technological resources they need to work effectively.
How Did Old Hardware Supply Chains Increase Health Risks
Some businesses suffered from breakdowns in communication, security breaches and a major drop in productivity when the switch to homeworking first took place.
A decent proportion of this problem was caused by staff having inadequate technology at home to do their jobs properly. Their old home computers were often slow, lacking essential software and did not have adequate security.
Device as a Service had been experiencing a steady increase in popularity in recent years prior to the COVID outbreak arriving in the UK. However, it was mainly viewed as a cost-saving measure.
Businesses that embraced DaaS were in a position to save money and put better devices in their employees’ hands. Yet directors resisted the shift and were slow to join the DaaS revolution.
With any new shift in technology, there is a learning curve. When businesses have their day-to-day operations to worry about, changing their hardware supply chain seemed daunting.
Businesses would latch on to the old ways of procuring tech devices because it was familiar, even if it did cause issues to cash flow due to buying in bulk outright. This created an environment for device obsoletion.
A core problem with buying devices outright is the big financial hit. The result is businesses wanting to get their money’s worth by hanging onto devices for as long as possible.
Prior to COVID, the worst consequence of this mind frame was a drop in productivity, due to slow, obsolete devices. However, during the pandemic, the cost become far more serious.
Many HR departments and even the police have dealt with a flood of anonymous reports during the pandemic of workers being forced into office settings against the advice of the UK government.
The government’s advice, both in and out of lockdown, has been to “work from home if you can”. The spirit of this instruction was to allow essential workers to do their jobs and support the population. Unfortunately, some employers were using the loose wording to bring unnecessary staff into the office.
There are a multitude of complex reasons why employers don’t want staff to work from home, but inadequate technology is a major factor.
Pandemic scenario without DaaS 2: There have been numerous stories and scenarios of companies purchasing desktop computers for their offices and then insisting this is the reason that employees cannot work from home.
In certain sectors that utilise special software, such as engineering, or have special confidentiality issues like the legal sector, the staff’s home computers will likely be inadequate.
Having spent considerable money on immovable desktops, these businesses resist replacing the devices in an uncertain economic climate. If they had been using a DaaS solution, they could have easily swapped these devices for laptops and would have had better cash flow to begin with.
Shockingly, 12% of UK workers have been ordered into work when they could have easily and more safely worked from home during the pandemic.
Subsequently, firms with Device as a Service were more inclined to offer safer working and still boast excellent productivity. While businesses without DaaS, who did force workers into the office could face prosecution if their staff anonymously flagged their company. This could result in fines of up to £10,000.
The Role of DaaS Outside of Lockdown
While Apple and PC DaaS solutions saw a rise in demand during the pandemic, this is unlikely to slow down.
The benefits of Device as a Service go beyond employee safety. With this highly flexible subscription model, businesses have a greater opportunity to easily add scale to their business in any direction.
Naturally, DaaS better lends itself to modern ways of working, including remote teams, digital nomads, hybrid working and in-the-field working.
The reality is that the pandemic won’t end overnight. The vaccine rollout is progressing nicely but COVID 19 won’t vanish. Variants are likely to give us problems for a while, and winter resurgence is a cause for concern.
Some employees might have health conditions that don’t allow them to take the vaccine, while other staff may not want to lose their newfound work-life balance, having proved they can work well at home.
Culturally, the population might remain more health safety conscious and want to avoid public transport or crowded offices in winter. It is, therefore, likely hybrid working between the office and home is here to stay.
Whatever the business situation, DaaS solutions offer a money-saving and reactive, flexible solution to sourcing and supplying tech hardware.
Andrew and his brother founded HardSoft back in 1984 when they were just teenagers. How things have changed!
Devices for Teams is just one solution of a portfolio of IT leasing solutions for business.
Daas without the Faff.
Andy has interests in Movies, food and wine!
LinkedIn: Andrew Morgan