Enterprise PC Costs Are Rising, and It’s Not Just About the Hardware

By Kristian Tuinzing

Client Services Manager, NPI

October 26, 2020

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The pandemic and macro conditions in the wider economy are driving up enterprise PC costs. NPI has noted in recent months that these increases are not limited to hardware. While the actual hardware pricing of PCs is seeing a slight uptick in average prices, ancillary services like imaging, asset tagging, and even warranty/repair costs are rising at a faster pace than most categories.

NPI finds that these increases are in part unavoidable, reflecting real supply chain cost increases. With this increase in average costing, it’s important for enterprise IT stakeholders to pay more attention to what is becoming a larger part of the PC spending pie.

Beyond hardware, NPI suggests a few other areas to watch for noticeable increases in the coming years as external factors weigh on PC spending.  These are especially important for companies looking at a long-term shift to more remote work for employees.

Review Enterprise PC Costs for Common Services Around Imaging, Asset Tagging and Others

In recent price benchmark analysis of enterprise PC environments, NPI has seen a noticeable trend emerging in the data related to market pricing for BIOS imaging, asset tagging, repair cost, and other major services associated with the space. Average pricing even in the most competitive quotes with strong buyer leverage was on the rise by a significant degree.

Researching the reasoning led us to see that overhead costs for many vendors and large channel resellers is increasing due to enhanced cleaning protocols, higher labor costs and slower turnaround times. NPI notes that ‘cleaning/sanitization’ actually makes it onto quotes as a new line item in many purchases we analyzed.

Weigh Value of Any Move to VDI or PC-as-a-Service (PCaaS)

As PC costs increase and remote work becomes more prevalent, NPI has begun to see more enterprises look closely at secure VDI solutions, often via ‘thin client’ form factor desktop devices. Benchmark analysis of VDI pricing is more important now as vendors across the board like Citrix, VMware and others have been increasing prices as demand grows.

PCaaS has long been something OEMs and their channel partners have pushed but with limited enterprise adoption. NPI has begun to see this change as enterprises need to ramp up machine counts for remote workers and keep up with update cycles. PCaaS pricing remains costly and complicated, and requires careful financial analysis to compare it  against traditional PC buying.

Investigating either VDI or PCaaS may make more sense if reliance on internal IT depots has become an issue due to the ongoing pandemic.

Double Check ‘BYOD’ Security Parameters

Phasing out company PC devices or expanding acceptance of BYOD policies is another strategy NPI is seeing enterprises investigate to tackle current shifts in workplace dynamics. While not always an option due to industry regulations, it’s worth exploring (and challenging if need be).

But don’t overlook tangential costs associated with BYOD. The use of personal devices may require added investment in SaaS-based endpoint IT security protection and drive up spend with vendors like CrowdStrike, Cylance, Carbon Black and others – these solutions often command premium price points.

As we’re seeing in the PC sector, cost increases have a way of gaining momentum with some being justified while others are not. It’s important to know the difference and determine how the price your vendor quotes stacks up against best-in-class purchases in the market  – not just PC hardware but ancillary services as well.