News & Analysis

More Digital SMBs to Opt for PC-as-a-Service

Gone are the days when enterprises or even individuals wanted to own hardware or software products. Today, the buzzwords are “as-a-service” and the trend has seeped so far into the modern workplace that it’s the go-to option amongst those who want to become digital and dynamic.

First it was the software that went dynamic and now it is the hardware. Physical desktops and laptops are now getting increasingly obsolete in their older forms – giving way to virtual and cloud computing technologies. This is an obvious reason why PCaaS or PC-as-a-service that simplifies PC lifecycle management by combining hardware, software, lifecycle services and financing into a one-pane setup is seeing greater momentum in the coming years.

Dell to transform SMB growth

IT vendors like Dell sees PCaaS as an attractive option for emerging companies that are looking to transform digitally – yet at the same time working on a tight budget with a focus on growth and innovation.

At this year’s Dell Technologies Summit at Austin, the PC giant announced an On Demand, end-to-end consumption-based, as-a-service infrastructure offerings. Dell promised to deliver IT especially to the SMB “with the agility of cloud and the control, performance and predictability of on-premises infrastructure.”

In the PCaaS segment, Dell is now giving a new high to SMBs that also includes very small businesses with strength of 20-30. Until now, Dell’s PCaaS program required customers to put a minimum of 300 units under contract— keeping it out of reach of most SMBs. The vendor’s PCaaS is now designed for companies that need 20 to 300 units.

PCaaS offers the same benefits as the enterprise offering it provides to larger firms—helping companies to reduce the management and maintenance burden, allowing for predictable budgeting; and accelerating the PC refresh cycle. The program is being backed by Dell Financial Services, the Dell officials said.

PCaaS market drivers

The PCaaS market, currently dominated by three PC majors, such as Dell, HP and Lenovo, is expected to grow from $9.3 billion in 2018 to $141.6 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 54.9% during the forecast period, says a ResearchAndMarkets report. It shows that the market for PCaaS is driven by factors such as the inclination of businesses toward the OPEX model rather than the CAPEX model, and the superior benefits offered by PCaaS business model. Also, additional advantages such as flexibility and scalability are expected to drive the PCaaS market.

Another report from Techaisle suggests that the market for PCaaS is currently at an early stage – but there is a market. “The total proportion of PCs delivered via PCaaS is still relatively small, but this is not a pure development market – an adoption beachhead has been established,” said Anurag Agrawal, Founder and Chief Global Analyst at Techaisle.

Other than Dell, Lenovo is also creating differentiating factors by helping businesses move to PCaaS. This service ensures that the different organizations can have dynamic devices along with immediate support as the company will provide their customers with the latest hardware devices and components. Lenovo shared that end user cost per seat for IT can cost $1,500 per year but they believe their PCaaS can cut 30% off of that cost.

“The workspace is evolving and so is our PCSD business (PC and smart devices). The Commercial Business Segment has been created to service our customers through innovative solutions and tools that will help them harness the intelligence transformation,” Christian Teismann, senior vice president Worldwide Commercial Business at Lenovo said in a statement last year.

Growth amidst challenges

Despite PCaaS improving employee flexibility and in turn customer experience and RoI, analysts predict, factors such as lack of awareness of the gains, especially in developing countries, and the lack of product differentiation as well as challenges such as security and data protection risks are currently, inhibiting the growth of this market.

However, a new research notes that increased spending on IT applications by businesses in developing countries in APAC is one of the key factors that will drive the growth of the PCaaS market in this region. Moreover, the expanding ecosystem of startups and SMEs in APAC is contributing to market growth.

On one hand, greater comfort with multiple types of cloud services and ability to offload PC deployment will enable SMBs to be more proactive in seeking PCaaS solutions, on the other, PCaaS vendors offering more secured platforms – with a focus on data security and protection, will lead to an increase in the adoption of PCaaS service in the mid-market segment.

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Sohini Bagchi
Sohini Bagchi is Editor at Trivone Digital, a published author and a storyteller. She can be reached at sohini.bagchi@trivone.com