Nowadays, you’ll rarely find a company that doesn’t use any hardware. Even mom-and-pop shops use desktop computers and telephone systems to deal with customers and simplify business processes. Put simply, hardware is a key component of companies. And just like most key components of an organization, it requires a hefty amount of money to obtain and maintain. That’s where hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) comes into play.
What Is Hardware As A Service?
Hardware-as-a-Service is a business model where an agency sells hardware to organizations for a certain period of time. During that period, the client must pay an agreed-upon monthly fee.
The hardware can be pretty much anything. As long as there’s a demand for it, there’s likely an HaaS agency that sells it. Examples of hardware that HaaS agencies commonly offer include security devices, bikes, and IT equipment (e.g., servers, computers, printers, etc.).
While the concept is ingenious, that’s not enough reason for your company to seek HaaS. If you want to learn more about this service, here are a few more things you need to know.
- HaaS Is Often Cheaper Than Owning Hardware
HaaS is akin to managed services in that they’re both highly cost-efficient in the short run. With managed services, you hire an entire team at once rather than hiring several people.
It’s cost-efficient because if you look at the average managed IT services pricing, for example, it’s often lower than the collective salary of an in-house IT department. Similarly, the pricing points of HaaS are typically more favorable than the price of buying multiple pieces of hardware.
Take security companies, for example. Those that offer HaaS would often charge you USD$60 a month for the security system’s installation, servicing, and in some cases, 24/7 support.
Meanwhile, purchasing several smart locks and security sensors alone will incur over USD$100. Never mind the servicing and support; hardware ownership cost alone is already higher.
- HaaS Can Bring Tax Benefits
Apart from the generally lower initial price, HaaS solutions also tend to bring tax benefits.
If you aren’t aware, when a business purchase equipment, they can deduct the expense from their taxes. What’s worth noting is that the deduction doesn’t apply to that year alone.
Instead, the deduction is spread throughout the entire lifespan of the equipment. For instance, if you buy a computer, you can deduct the cost from your tax over four years. Put simply, benefits may not be immediately noticeable. That’s not the case with HaaS.
If you opt for HaaS, you can deduct the expense from the tax return for that year. It doesn’t have to be spread out through the years since there’s no guarantee you’ll still be using it next year.
As a result, you can fully enjoy the deductions. The total amount of tax deduction may not be any different, but a sudden influx of money in business is better than a constant trickle.
- HaaS May Also Include Installation, Servicing, And 24/7 Support
If you have yet to learn about this fact about HaaS, the previous statements may have confused you. Apart from renting you the hardware, the HaaS company will also install it for you.
Afterward, they may provide aftercare services, like maintenance, repairs, and 24/7 support. That is yet another reason why HaaS is cost-efficient since you normally hire a tech guy to do all these. However, remember that these services are different from what IT services provide.
If you have a damaged hard drive, for example, the HaaS agency would resolve the problem by fixing its physical parts. Meanwhile, the approach of a managed IT service provider would be different. They will instead help recover the data from the drive using their specialized software.
In short, IT services are more on software, while HaaS aftercare services lean more towards hardware. If you want to integrate HaaS and IT services, consider IT support in Salt Lake City.
- Clients Must Sign An SLA
SLA, short for service-level agreement, is a document that explains the details of the transaction. These include the services the provider must render and the details about the client’s payment.
It’s a document that vendors require clients to sign, and HaaS agencies are no exception.
The SLA in HaaS basically puts into words the responsibilities of each party. Here are some examples of the responsibilities of the HaaS agency that you’ll commonly find in SLA:
- Inspections for hardware failure
- Replacements or repairs for broken hardware
- Factory resets of provisioned devices
- Installation and complete setups of hardware
- 24/7 customer support for matters concerning the hardware
On the client’s side, the SLA usually provides details about how regularly the client must pay, whether it’s weekly or monthly. The SLA may also discuss certain rules and regulations.
For instance, it may emphasize that the client is only eligible for repairs and replacements if the issue was caused by an unavoidable circumstance, like wear and tear or a manufacturing problem.
The Bottom Line
HaaS not only saves you money with its lower initial price and tax benefits, but it’s also more convenient for the company since it comes with aftercare services. And if you have issues with the service, you can always negotiate the terms in the SLA. Put simply, HaaS is cost-efficient, flexible, and convenient.