It’s time to unite devices and software under

Imagine you’ve just presented a team member with the latest high-end mobile device. You both share the satisfaction at that moment, and for a brief moment, no one is better equipped than this team member to take on the world of digital business.

Unfortunately, that feeling fades when a more advanced next-gen model arrives, perhaps just months after your capital investment. When the latest and greatest 12.0 device is overtaken in six months by Big Time Device 13.0, most companies aren’t in the mood for another expensive upgrade. And this scenario is not limited to mobile devices.

That’s not how it works with software investments these days. Today’s software as a service is a boon for CIOs; in my experience, they like to access cloud-based programs on a subscription basis rather than having to purchase copies of the software. But they still have to buy the hardware to run the apps on, or do they?


Owning something doesn’t always make sense. Many people prefer to lease a car over buying one because they don’t have to pay for maintenance or deal with depreciation. The monthly cost is often less than the repayments of a car loan. Plus, they can trade it in for a new model in a few years. And while it’s true that the lessor doesn’t own the asset, rapid depreciation means that the value of the asset is still less than what a buyer paid to buy it new.

The mobile devices required for business operations applications present a similar proposition for organizations, creating a disconnect between how companies purchase software and the associated hardware to keep business running. With SaaS applications, your employees can use the latest and greatest software that’s always up-to-date, but they have to run it on the latest device purchased by the company, even if it’s already outdated by industry standards. ‘today. device market.

Of course, your employees need access to these devices to do their jobs. But when your organization owns the devices, you not only pay to buy them, but also to have them maintained and possibly replaced. Then you have an old phone, tablet, or desktop computer that you can try to sell for a fraction of its cost, or at least wipe it before disposing of it so company data doesn’t leak out in the wrong hands.

And there is another downside. The sheer cost of some of these devices could mean that not all employees are likely to get one, leaving many workers disconnected from the extended team.

Why would a company subscribe to cloud-based software and then buy devices in the hope that the latter can do a good job hosting the former? I think having access to mobile devices, without having to own them and dedicate IT staff to managing them, maintaining them, and replacing them when they break down, is a much better business proposition.


It’s also worth asking: why do we assume we’ll need smartphones, tablets, or computers to run the apps we need at work, just because they’re the most familiar devices? Many apps could work just as well, if not better, on devices designed specifically for those apps. A voice-based app, for example, might work best on a smart speaker or even a headset designed by the app developer and delivered directly to app users.

What if there was a way to combine device and software, from the same vendor, for a subscription price that didn’t require capital investment or ownership of a physical asset?

After all, in my experience, it’s not the device itself that companies and their employees care about; companies care about results and efficiency. So as long as you can deploy the right app on a device that will work efficiently, it doesn’t matter if it’s strictly utilitarian or the hottest smartphone on the market.

I think the solution to the incongruity between software and hardware purchases is to pair SaaS with a companion model called Device-as-a-Service. The result is a new standard known as Everything-as-a-Service.


Over the past three years, the world of enterprise technology has seen a sea change in the spending priorities of CIOs. According to Christopher Gilchrist, senior research analyst at Forrester, 60% of organizations accelerate a move away from capital expenditure in favor of operating expenditure. CIOs know that Capex purchases almost always come with diminishing returns and require constant maintenance and upgrades. If CIOs can get what they need while building costs into manageable and predictable Opex, why wouldn’t they? I believe this is why SaaS is so popular.

DaaS can also fit into this trend and opens the door for vendors to offer EaaS. In other words, it is hardware and software applications that come together under the same subscription package.

This means that a solution provider can design a device specifically to run the provider’s application or applications and automatically provide the subscriber with new or updated programming as part of the package. And if the programming evolves to the point where the provided device can no longer support it, the provider can upgrade or provide a replacement device, just as it would with the software.

I believe Device-as-a-Service is an idea whose time has come. This is already shaking up the status quo that once viewed buying mobile devices as a justifiable and rational business strategy. And when DaaS goes hand in hand with SaaS, pairing cloud-based software delivery with hardware designed specifically to run it, Everything-as-a-Service subscriptions could become a new normal for solution delivery.

As co-founder and CTO of Theatro, Ravi Kumar leads solution architecture and innovation projects.