How one IT hardware innovation rapidly enabled thousands of employees to work from home
Lockdown last year presented anxious, frightening days for corporate executives across the country as they scrambled to reorganise IT environments to allow staff to work from home.
Sixteen months later, just when we thought the anxiety and uncertainty was behind us and we could finally start returning to our old “normal” back in the office, we realised that we have a long way to go.
Never before has technology been such a driver of our businesses, but the way we find ourselves working now (and how we will be working into the future) is fraught with ongoing challenges:
- Company notebooks, desktops and other devices are scattered at staff homes all over the country.
- The IT office was just up the hallway. Now staff struggle from home to get support with limited support and frozen budgets.
- Companies lose track of assets and peripherals containing sensitive information, just as POPI is promulgated.
- There are severe global IT hardware shortages and new business notebooks are scarce.
- The wildly fluctuating rand has led to overpriced hardware and is making IT budgeting a nightmare.
- With tough economic conditions, companies are reluctant to commit to purchasing or utilise scarce funding facilities, and banks have tightened on lending.
- IT technicians and staff are exposed to a COVID risk when supporting remote workers.
- Devices get lost, stolen and damaged.
These, among the other challenges you face when trying to focus on your core business.
Prior to COVID, technology innovator Go Rentals introduced device as a service (DaaS) to South Africa. Modelled off software as a service, DaaS is where you receive every aspect of IT hardware bundled into an affordable per-user monthly subscription.
One simple month-to-month cost includes everything from the device to insurance, repairs and maintenance and delivery, together with guaranteed uptime for users and flexibility to return or upgrade.
This not-so-small innovation, and the tech that manages it, solved the challenges of managing hardware for thousands of remote workers when COVID hit, and allowed companies to focus on their core business and lower costs at a time when they needed it most.
So, how does DaaS work?
Simply put, you pay a monthly fee and it includes all of the following:
- A Dell/HP/Lenovo laptop or desktop from a large rental fleet;
- Theft and damage cover;
- Ability to return or upgrade devices at any time during the contract term;
- Spare devices to minimise employee downtime;
- Loading of software/images;
- Free delivery and collection; and
- Hardware disaster recovery, ie, replacing lost/stolen/damaged hardware instantly.
DaaS has been a literal godsend to companies all over South Africa scrambling to make sense of the new “work from home” normal and a method of improving the user workspace in 2021 that every IT manager should be considering.