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Seismic shift in office tech

PC-as-a-Service is the new kid on the business block, driving a new employee experience, writes HAIDI NOSSAIR of Dell Technologies

There’s a new kid on the block. Born as a result of the fast-paced digital transformation and the flexible, remote working models that’s come about in the last 18-24 months – and it’s changing the face of the future of work as we know it.

Called PC-as-a-Service (PCaaS), this as-a-service model  is reshaping organisations and proving to be a boon to companies, both large and small. It is set to change the way organisations approach technology and its deployment to aid business operations.

Haidi Nossair, senior director of client solutions group for Dell Technologies MERAT region

Technically, PCaaS has been around for a while, but it’s only now, as a direct offshoot of digital-first and location-independent shifts, that it is going mainstream – bringing a radical change in how organisations view, approach and operate their business.

We have seen a significant shift to remote working over the last two years. The number of employees working remotely has risen since the pandemic hit, putting a heavy strain on an already burdened IT team. Being able to manage user satisfaction and device uptime, at a distance, will be essential.

Performing PCs are critical to businesses’ productivity and competitiveness, but hardware refresh is often extended well beyond its due date as IT departments’ resources are stretched. A Forrester Research study commissioned by Dell Technologies estimates it takes an IT team 30 hours to deploy one PC. It also revealed that 53% of IT leaders are struggling with the diversity of devices – and half of all helpdesk calls are regarding password, VPN or application issues. Compounding the challenges, security issues are more pertinent than ever, with increased opportunity and exposure to risk following the move to remote working. It takes 191 days on average for IT teams to identify data breaches, according to a TechBeacon report.

With PCaaS, IT can manage the complexity of delivering a modernised employee experience with a new level of predictability to their IT budgets.  In this model, the hardware and services are bundled into a single subscription and companies pay a monthly fee rather than outright with no upfront investment. When organisations opt for PCaaS, they benefit from relying on a trusted provider for systems with integrated security wrapped with services to improve employee experience and remove the complexity of the daily burden of managing a PC infrastructure. This means organisations can rely on a single provider to take care of all their IT needs, while maintaining performance, security and reliability over the lifetime of that system with simplified lifecycle management, including asset recovery.

With PCaaS, organisations can move PC procurement from CAPEX to OPEX and at the same time benefit from faster refresh rates so that employees can work with the latest technology with positive effects on productivity.

Maximising employee experience 

PCaaS helps IT modernise the workplace and improve the employee experience with comprehensive solutions for deployment, security, management and support up to asset retirement.  It reduces support calls and resolution time.  With aaS model organisations think differently about how they procure, support and retire devices. With employees spending most of their workday in front of the screen, their PC can be the difference between getting work finished and getting frustrated. The amount of technology induced downtime employees suffer directly impacts their ability to work and generate revenue, yet with the right end-user computing solution organisations can attract and retain the best talent

Today’s workforce relies on their PCs and accessories to get work done anytime, from anywhere and with minimal disruption to their productivity. Users need their PCs to be fully configured no matter where they are located, and IT departments need to ensure that the technology and services are tailored to diverse teams.  They also need to provide a unified end-user experience across the different teams.

For example, the requirements of a financial controller will be very different to an engineer. Providing the right device, applications and access to data, by mapping the user experience into a persona model, means that employees can gain increased workplace satisfaction and become more productive – no matter where they work. But all too often, IT struggles to manage the PC lifecycle process, creating unnecessary disruption. With PCaaS, IT teams can manage the complexity of a modernized employee experience while simplifying device lifecycle management hence freeing IT time for strategic projects.  This allows organisations to reduce costs of end user device management and increase productivity.

In this work-from-anywhere world, flexible working models are here to stay – making remote PC management a business-critical investment. It represents a new chapter in business operations, and is enabled by extraordinary technology advances that will change the way we live, work and collaborate with one another at the workplace.

According to a global study of 2800 IT decision makers conducted by IDC, it found that companies at all levels are considering PC as a service models to reduce costs, shorten refresh cycles and drive IT transformation for their business. The same study cites that 19% of the commercial PC market is forecasted to move to a PCaaS model by next year. To make this happen, service providers have to democratize technology to give customers the flexibility to continue their investment in IT infrastructure and evolve their digital transformation journey. It is vital to give organisations the freedom to scale resources in ways that work best for their business needs.

In the last two years, we have transformed the way we work, virtually overnight. Now it’s time to think long term and welcome an experience-focused nimble, connected and flexible workforce infrastructure. As the region moves towards a knowledge-based economy and nurturing future talent, decision makers need to consider building future-ready workplace that amplifies employee experience and supports creativity and productivity.  

PCaaS is the way forward for IT procurement and management to modernise the workplace while protecting organisations’ cash flow liquidity with flexible payments.

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