In the past few years, the Internet of Things has gone from a technology that showed real potential to the next big thing in a relatively short period. Sensors — the tech at the heart of IoT’s usefulness — have finally advanced enough to provide real value, while also being cheap enough to be widespread.
For companies, IoT’s always-connected nature offers an unparalleled level of insight that has opened up a new line of business known as device as a service (DaaS). Essentially, companies can now offer managed solutions for all kinds of connected hardware; offering expertise and a single point of contact for customers; and reducing cost and complexity when it comes to purchasing and deployment, thanks to the data they receive in turn.
DaaS can benefit a variety of companies now and in the future, yet printer and laptop manufacturers might stand to benefit the most from this model. For these businesses, DaaS represents a way to embrace the future head-on and ensure they will remain relevant even as the nature of mobile changes and more places go paperless.
How Printers and Laptop Manufacturers Are Already Using IoT to Profit
Most new models of printers have the ability to connect to the internet, capture data about the device, and update the manufacturer about its usage. Companies can then use that information to provide customers a better service.
For example, HP created the Instant Ink subscription service as a new method to tackle the age-old problem of replacing expensive printer cartridges. Normally, a customer runs out of ink and spends time shopping around for new cartridges — perhaps picking a third-party brand instead of HP. Now HP detects when users are running low on ink and sends out a cartridge in the mail. Not only is this convenient for customers, but it also provides HP with steady continued touchpoints with buyers.
Laptop manufacturers are changing how they sell their products, too. Instead of a one-time $1,500 price tag for a new laptop, some companies might offer $50 per month for both the hardware and expert support and maintenance for the entire life of the laptop.
Previously, this type of service might have been too costly, with consumers bringing in failed hard drives and dead laptops for replacement. IoT makes it possible to be proactive in maintenance and customer service.
Why DaaS Is a Better Model for Printer and Laptop Manufacturers
IoT and DaaS have the potential to revolutionize the way printer and laptop manufacturers sell equipment and interact with customers. If you’re interested in trying out a better way to sell your products, here are a few benefits DaaS can offer:
1. DaaS can help you maximize efficiency.
With IoT, companies can anticipate customer needs rather than just reacting. Manufacturers can regularly monitor the devices' health and create a preventive workflow around it. Collected data through real-time monitoring also can improve delivery time and increase efficiency by as much as 30%.
2. Connected devices enable you to craft a better customer experience.
According to Gartner, 40% of customer service instances will come from connected device signals in three years. This means companies that offer products like an IoT printer or laptop can also offer a proactive customer experience. Connected devices provide a feedback loop that benefits research and development and customer service. Connected devices allow manufacturers to solve underlying issues rather than just treating the symptoms, creating an overall smoother experience for customers.
3. Sales and marketing can work smarter, not harder.
Connected devices offer a digital thread that shows your customer’s current behavior. This identifies opportunities for future sales to improve the customer's experience and allows manufacturers to create custom pricing options. That way, you can offer what customers truly need, instead of what you hope they’ll want.
The industry is already moving toward DaaS. Personal computers as a service, for instance, is expected to bring in $141.6 billion in 2024. Other industries, such as home security and smart cameras, are also taking advantage of this model. If you’re a printer or laptop manufacturer, now is the time to get on the ground floor of this new model. If you do, your customers will thank you — and so will your bottom line.