When we started MSPmentor a few years back, we heard a lot about hardware as a service (HaaS). Some MSPs and industry experts have definitely succeeded with HaaS strategies. (masterIT and CharTec come to mind.) But overall, many managed services providers have yet to move into the HaaS market, which basically allows customers to pay a predictable monthly fee for their servers, PCs, notebooks and mobile devices. Now here's the irony: Amazon.com may emerge as the HaaS industry's biggest winner. Here's why.
Rewind to Amazon's most recent Kind Fire tablet announcements and CEO Jeff Bezos was talking about HaaS -- without really mentioning the acronym by name. As the Motley Fool noted:
"When Jeff Bezos announced the e-tail giant's army of new Kindle Fire tablets to the world last week, the company's HaaS strategy was present every step of the way. One of the ironic messages during the presentation was when Bezos said that consumers "don't want gadgets anymore," right before he showed off a handful of new gadgets to buy. But he clarified: They want services that improve over time. They want services that improve every day, every week, and every month. Kindle Fire is a service."I think Bezos is onto something. I still have the original iPad and I've yet to upgrade my iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4s, nor do I have plans to buy the iPhone 5. Frankly, I'm not interested in keeping up with the latest gadgets.
But on the other hand: I am interested in keeping up with the latest apps and cloud services. I suspect I'll spend less and less on hardware over the next few years, while opening up my wallet wider and wider for those new apps and cloud services. So why not just find a way to finance the hardware as a monthly fee as well?
I don't know if HaaS will ever go mainstream within the IT channel. But it most certainly will go mainstream in the consumer technology market. In fact, the cell phone market proves that it already has.