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In the world of Managed IT Services where the provider monitors and manages your company-owned equipment, there’s another option you can benefit from where you can rent all or part of your computing equipment. This option is known as Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS).
HaaS is a service provision model for equipment that’s 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.
Managed IT service companies are seeing more businesses moving to this model. What makes it appealing to small and medium-sized companies, and especially startups is that there’s no need for upfront expensive equipment purchases.
Instead of purchasing your computing equipment, your Managed Service Provider (MSP) installs equipment that they own and you rent from them. They’ll provide 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:
If a machine becomes outdated or breaks down, the responsibility for repairs or replacement then falls to the MSP. When the device gets replaced, the decommissioning process begins.
When you choose a Managed IT Services HaaS model, your employees will only use the most current hardware.
There are 6 technologies you can use through HaaS:
1. 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 is faster with HaaS.
2. Firewalls – Security threats will never end, and an outdated firewall leads to security and compliance issues. With cybersecurity, such a high priority today, firewalls for HaaS have grown in demand and popularity for preventing unwanted malware from entering a computer system.
3. Dedicated Computers – When you need a physical machine to run a specific operating system, the provider installs its 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.
4. Storage Devices – There are shared and saved files, storage, and backups that must be secured. When your storage appliance runs out of space, your networks or computers can grind to a screeching halt. When deploying a storage appliance with your managed service provider, your business needs are analyzed, and storage space is scaled and optimized.
5. 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 networks are gone. Your provider can help you select and configure the right switch to remove any barriers to performance.
6. 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. Instead, you can utilize less expensive local clients or simply connect remotely to your desktop. With virtualization, you can operate multiple virtual machines or operating systems on the equipment you already own. Your desktops and servers are easily portable to new hardware or cloud environments.
Now that HaaS is mainstream, it’s now possible for small and mid-sized businesses to reduce IT hardware costs. It has also given them immediate access to use the best technology in the industry, instead of getting by with old, outdated, or legacy equipment.
Here are 4 significant benefits that you’ll realize when switching over to Hardware-as-a-Service:
1. Ease of Use and Flexibility – When the provider implements, maintains, updates, and manages hardware, your staff gains back a significant amount of time. This time gets directed to other activities that can 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 need upgrading, that old equipment can easily take up vast amounts of physical office space. Instead of sinking money into new devices, the company gets back valuable office space while getting the most recent technologies.
3. Security –With the provider using powerful firewalls, virus scanning technology, updating patches and continuous maintenance, your organization and the hardware devices in use are safe from cyber threats. When utilizing HaaS, concerns about the security of your hardware are eliminated.
4. Reduced Capital Expense – HaaS bundled packages allow you to conserve capital. With additional cash flow, you can invest in other areas of your business. HaaS services may qualify as Operating Costs reducing those high tax rates for purchasing on-premises equipment. Check with your accountant for any tax advice.
ICS provides both HaaS and managed IT services. HaaS might be exactly what your company needs to reduce IT costs, and outsourcing your IT support will lighten your workload while taking the burden off your staff.
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