Spiceworks, the marketplace that connects the IT industry, announced the 2019 State of Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) report that examines business adoption and perceptions of HaaS, defined as a subscription model in which leased devices are owned, managed, and supported by a third-party. The findings indicate there will be a gradual transition from traditional hardware leasing, where leased devices are managed in-house, to the HaaS model, where leased devices are managed by a hardware manufacturer or managed service provider.
The survey results show 48 percent of businesses currently lease one or more types of hardware. Among those businesses, 24 percent manage all leased hardware in house, and 24 percent use the HaaS model for at least one type of device. Although most commonly used for printers, adoption of the HaaS model among other end user devices (e.g., laptops, desktops, tablets) is expected to grow among businesses that already lease hardware. In fact, an additional 6 percent of organizations leasing hardware plan to shift to the HaaS model within the next two years.
"HaaS providers have already found early success with the model, particularly with devices like printers that are often troublesome to support," said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. "To further drive HaaS adoption, providers will have the most success targeting businesses that lack the manpower or geographic reach to adequately service devices in house in addition to businesses that are already sold on the leasing model. Considering the IT leasing and financing market is estimated to be a $234 billion industry, even small shifts in buyer behavior can add up."
Reduction of support burden on internal IT staff is considered the top benefit of HaaS
Among businesses using HaaS, 71 percent reported the HaaS model helps reduce the time and resources required by the internal IT team. Nearly half of businesses also said HaaS provides improved troubleshooting and support, easier setup and maintenance of devices, and a reduction in the amount of obsolete technology in the workplace. Additionally, nearly 40 percent said using HaaS led to a lower total cost of ownership for devices and reduced expenses.
However, among businesses that don't subscribe to HaaS, 56 percent said it's because they already have the resources to manage their devices in house. Additionally, 42 percent of IT professionals have concerns about giving up control of their hardware, while 34 percent do not believe the model is cost-effective. Finally, 26 percent of businesses simply aren't sold on the benefits.
More than half of IT professionals believe HaaS enables more focus on strategic IT projects
Spiceworks also examined general perceptions of HaaS among IT decision makers to better understand what hurdles tech vendors and MSPs need to overcome to further drive adoption of the model. The results show 56 percent of IT professionals believe HaaS enables the IT department to focus on more strategic projects by leaving the more tedious support issues to their HaaS provider. For example, the most common services businesses are utilizing in the HaaS model include parts replacement (81 percent), hardware support and troubleshooting (74 percent), hardware replacement and refresh (61 percent), and device monitoring (37 percent).
Even with such services in the hands of a third-party, only 17 percent of IT professionals believe the HaaS model puts IT jobs at risk. However, nearly two-thirds believe communal hardware, such as printers, make more sense for HaaS than end-user devices, and nearly 30 percent believe HaaS only makes sense for larger organizations.