What is IT as a Service?
ITaaS is a way to provide hardware, software, services and support bundled together as a service for a predictable monthly fee. It is similar to how you use electricity from the power company. They provide the infrastructure necessary to conduct electricity to your house or office and you just pay a monthly bill according to how much you use. In much the same way, and IT services company can provide you with the IT infrastructure you need, and all you have to do is pay a monthly "utility" bill for what you use.
How does it work?
It starts by evaluating your infrastructure and determining where you are in the lifecycle of each device. Those that are ready to be retired are replaced and those that are not are scheduled for future replacement.
Each month you pay a fixed fee for all of your IT hardware, software, services and support needs. Your IT service provider handles all of the headaches and responsibility of procuring, installing, and managing your network as well as providing services such as helpdesk/technical support, cloud services and more. This pay-as-you-go solution is totally different from traditional IT methods that consisted of huge upfront costs and constant maintenance of depreciating IT assets. ITaaS helps take away the pain of managing your IT infrastructure.
As an added bonus, because of the relationship many IT service providers have with Microsoft, all MS products can be upgraded whenever a new version becomes available. So when Office 2013 comes out (or whatever they intend to call it) every PC and laptop that has an older version is automatically eligible for a free upgrade. This means that every user has the same version regardless of when their device was purchased which leads to greater productivity.
What are the benefits?
- Known monthly IT costs means no budget surprises
- Scalability: It can grow as you grow, and growth costs are predictable
- Up-to-date equipment with periodical refreshes
- It takes your IT hardware from a capitol expense to an operating expense
- Little to no headache: Your IT service provider manages IT for you
Win, win, win
When a device reaches the end of its useful life it is replaced and your monthly spend stays the same. Your IT service provider - if they're good - then takes the old device with them when they leave. The hard drive is destroyed and the PC is then recycled for use if still viable. Many are given away to non-profits, schools and other organizations. Everyone benefits. You have new, more productive and reliable hardware, someone else has a machine they needed but couldn’t otherwise afford and you’re being green by recycling that old hardware. It’s a win-win-win.
About the Author
During work hours David is the President of Plenary Technology, an IT Services company in New Jersey that helps small businesses save money by reducing down time. Off hours he spends as much time as possible romping thru the woods with his dog, Maggie.