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Hardware as a Service + Managed IT

In the world of Managed IT services, where the provider monitors and manages your company owned equipment, there is another option available. In this business model, your company rents all or part of their equipment/computing power as part of their IT support services. That option is known as Hardware as a Service (HaaS). Managed IT service companies are seeing more businesses moving to this model. What makes it appealing to small and medium-sized companies, especially startups, is that there are no expensive upfront purchases to make.

What is Hardware as a Service (HaaS)?

Hardware as a Service is a service provision model for equipment that is defined differently in managed services and grid computing contexts. In managed services, HaaS is similar to licensing or leasing. In grid computing, HaaS is a pay-as-you-go model.

Instead of a client purchasing their equipment, they have the Managed Service Provider (MSP) install equipment the MSP company owns. Each party will enter into a service level agreement (SLA) which defines each party’s responsibilities.

Depending upon the terms of the SLA contract, there are usually two payment options:

  1. The client will pay a monthly fee for using the hardware.
  2. The payment gets incorporated into the fee structure for installation, monitoring and maintaining the equipment.

Should a machine become outdated or break down, the responsibility for repairs or replacement then falls to the MSP. When the device gets replaced, the decommissioning process begins.

  • Proprietary data gets wiped
  • Hard drives get physically destroyed
  • Old or broken equipment get recycled legally, and it is certified

When a company chooses the Managed IT services HaaS model, their employees will only use the most current hardware.

How Does Hardware-as-a-Service Work?

There are six technologies, tied in with HaaS, that have benefited organizations of all sizes.

File Servers – File transfer equipment allows for instant file communication between two or more parties in a company. It’s quick and scalable. When leasing a server, either physical on-premises or virtual in the cloud, the file sharing occurs at faster speeds with HaaS.

Firewalls – Security threats will never end, and an outdated firewall leads to security compliance issues. With cybersecurity a high priority, firewalls for HaaS have grown in demand and popularity, especially when preventing unwanted malware from entering a computer’s system.

Dedicated Computers – When needing a physical machine to run a specific operating system, the provider installs their equipment into your environment. Rather than spending thousands of dollars for dedicated computers, you would use the monthly HaaS equipment option that reduces upfront costs and increases productivity.

Storage Devices – There are shared and saved files, storage, and backups that must be secured. When your storage appliance runs out of data storing space, that’s when networks or computers grind to a sceeching halt. When deploying a storage appliance with your managed service provider, your business needs are analyzed and storage space is scalable and optimized for storage speed needs.

Switches and Routers – Computers use these devices to efficiently communicate and route data within your business and internet connected devices. To run at the best speeds, smart switches and routers are used to route traffic quickly to the correct device, user or private groups on your network. The days of using unmanaged switches that blast to all of your network are gone. Your provider can help you select and configure the right switch to help remove any barriers to performance.

Virtualization Technologies – For a monthly fee, you can virtualize your desktops and servers to run on hosted or hardware provided by your managed service provider. You won’t need to purchase or install new computers for your network but can utilize less expensive local clients or simply connect remotely to your desktop. With virtualization, now you can operate multiple virtual machines or operating systems on the equipment you already own with software that allows your desktops and servers to be easily portable to new hardware or cloud environments.

How Can HaaS Improve Your Business?

Now that HaaS is mainstream, it has made it possible for the Small to Medium Business (SMB) market to reduce IT hardware costs and ease their budgets dramatically. It has also given these same groups immediate access to use the best technology in the industry, instead of getting by with old, outdated, or legacy equipment.

Below we’ve listed four significant benefits when switching over to Hardware-as-a-Service:

  1. Ease of Use and Flexibility – When the provider implements, maintains, updates, and manages their hardware, your IT person gains back a significant amount of time. That collected time gets directed to other activities that could benefit your business. When it’s time to have the equipment removed, the provider takes it out.
  2. More Physical Space in the Office – When a company has sizeable and outdated hardware on premises that needs upgrading, that old equipment can easily take up vast amounts of physical office space. Instead of sinking money into new devices, the company reclaims valuable office space while getting the most recent technologies.
  3. Security –With the provider using powerful firewalls, virus scanning technology, updated patching and continuous maintenance, your organization and the hardware devices in use are safe from cyber threats. When utilizing HaaS, concern about the security of your hardware is eliminated.
  4. Reduced Capital Expense – HaaS bundled packages allow business owners to conserve capital. With additional cash flow, the business can turn around and invest in other areas. HaaS services may qualify as Operating Costs reducing those high tax rates for purchasing on-premises equipment. Do check with your accountant for any tax advice.

Looking For A New Managed IT Provider in Washington DC Area?

Ready to learn more about Hardware As A Service? HaaS might be exactly what your company needs to reduce IT costs. Outsourcing your IT support will lighten your workload and help take the burden off your current IT employees.

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