IT departments devote significant time and resources to procuring, monitoring and managing desktop PCs, mobile devices and other endpoints. This is particularly true in K-12 schools as they roll out more devices to students to support personalized, one-to-one learning initiatives. Schools have limited budgets to support the capital expense of procuring technology that is constantly evolving, and limited IT manpower to manage those devices.

The Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) model is emerging as a way for many organizations, from small businesses to K-12 school districts, to procure and manage devices with greater efficiency and agility. In fact, a 2016 IDC survey found that one-quarter of respondents were actively exploring DaaS and another 20 percent planned to do so within the next 12 months.

Not to be confused with Desktop-as-a-Service, which shares the same acronym, DaaS is the outsourcing of device procurement, deployment and lifecycle management to a third-party service provider for a monthly fee. With DaaS, organizations lease devices for a period of time and choose a management service, which typically includes monitoring, troubleshooting, security and compliance, and end-of-life recycling of devices. It can also include device configuration, data migration, support and other services.

From a financial perspective, DaaS shifts device procurement from a capital to operational expense. Similar to other “as-a-service” models that allow organizations to scale services up or down as needed, DaaS makes it possible to add or remove devices according to current demand to eliminate overprovisioning. A result, DaaS translates to lower, more predictable costs.

From a day-to-day management perspective, in-house IT teams no longer have to manage devices and can focus their efforts on higher value, strategic tasks and initiatives. In K-12 schools, this means focusing on improving the delivery and sharing of educational materials and the quality of collaboration. Instead of trying to predict the next hardware refresh, the refresh is baked into DaaS. Tasks such as retiring devices, wiping data and disposing of devices in a secure, environmentally friendly way become the responsibility of the service provider.

From a user experience perspective, DaaS provides users with access to the latest technology without the pressure to extend the lifecycle of existing devices. This is extremely important in K-12 learning environments where students are often among the first to own new devices and try out new applications and features.

HP DaaS was developed to optimize the way technology is procured, managed and used while freeing up IT to take on a more strategic role. Not limited to HP devices, HP DaaS offers services for Windows, Android, iPhone, iPad and Mac devices in an a la carte solution. IT managers can use a consolidated dashboard to maintain visibility over device fleets and gain analytics insights into their use and condition. HP Proactive Intelligence helps to predict and resolve device issues before they happen to reduce disruption and downtime. With HP DaaS, the entire device lifecycle is managed, from configuration and deployment, to optimization and maintenance, to disposal.

As K-12 schools make more technology available to students, especially on a one-to-one basis, administrators have to look for ways to control costs, simplify device management and ensure that students have access to the latest tools. DaaS is capable of meeting all three goals, and HP has emerged as a leader in this space.

By Edna Zielmanski, National SLED Relationship Manager at ProSys Information Systems