How ‘Optimized Deployment Mode’ Saves Money

The Business Value of Utilizing Deployment Services

Sponsored by: Dell

Rob Brothers
Randy Perry
Martha Vazquez
August 2016


Business leaders are challenged to move their enterprises to the next level, a shift that involves employing digital technologies along with organizational and operational innovation. This digital business transformation will result in the creation of new business models and drive new business opportunities. IDC believes that most enterprises today should not be in the business of deploying IT assets; businesses instead should focus on what they do best and how they can use IT to do it better. As a result, IT departments should devote much of their time to innovation and new business initiatives. For the past five years, IDC has surveyed enterprises on how much time is spent on different IT tasks, and the answer is always the same: IT departments spend 80% of their time on routine “keeping the lights on” kinds of tasks such as asset deployment, patch management, troubleshooting, and remediation. That leaves only 20% of time to spend on innovation. In today’s hypercompetitive environment, this 80:20 ratio hinders the type of innovation that can lead to a sustainable competitive advantage.

Deploying assets falls into the category of necessary yet routine IT tasks. IDC’s survey data of 550 enterprises shows that over 50% of businesses use some type of deployment service when rolling out new PCs; while the reasons vary, they are all sound. “More cost effective” was and is the number 1 reason. IDC’s business value research analysts have estimated that the cost savings in utilizing a third-party deployment provider are significant. Specifically, organizations partnering with providers for asset deployment enjoyed the following benefits:

  • Faster time to market. Using third-party providers enabled organizations to complete PC deployments 59–68% faster.
  • Better customer experience. End users enjoyed 46% less disruption as a result of using third-party deployment providers, reducing lost productivity costs by $46.23 per device.
  • Net IT savings. Organizations realized net IT savings of $620 per device (48% reduction). (Calculations were based on a Dell ProDeploy Plus service list price of $330 per device for a tier 3 deployment.)


IDC surveyed 550 small, medium-sized, and large enterprises worldwide to assess the value they receive when utilizing external support to deploy PC assets. Organizations with over 100 employees from seven countries (Australia, China, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States) were asked specific information about their PC deployment process. Roughly half (50.2%) of the organizations relied on third-party providers to support tier 1, tier 2, or tier 3 deployment services.


This white paper discusses how utilizing external resources, in particular Dell deployment services, can help companies save time, thereby enabling a focus on business initiatives. Implementing new technologies is very time consuming, and if performed ineffectively, it can be costly and result in end-user dissatisfaction. Utilizing the right third-party service provider to deploy assets can mean the difference between a successful deployment and a deployment that may be destined to fail at worst or operate less efficiently than proposed at best.

Deployment Services Options

Surveyed organizations were asked to identify which third-party deployment services they are using. The tier of services that organizations use in many ways determines the extent of the benefits they enjoy. Specifically:

Installation. 43% of organizations use tier 1 services, which includes the following elements:

  • Physical install of hardware — unpacking of the PC and monitor, asset tagging, and removal of trash
  • Onsite technician and/or remote installation  Component validation (address missing, wrong, or defective components)
  • Installation of required firmware, control software, or base operating system (image load)

Deployment. 32% of organizations use tier 2 services, which includes all of tier 1 plus the following elements:

  • Project management that performs site readiness, logistics management, change management, and documentation
  • Software install and configuration, including operating systems, drivers, network configurations, and system management tools (image load)
  • Post-deployment validation to ensure that solution is functional and all deployment activities have been completed
  • On-the-job knowledge transfer
  • Integration. 25% of organizations use tier 3 services, which includes tier 1 and tier 2 services plus the following:
  • Planning and design. As-is environment assessment, to-be-deployed design, and migration planning
  • Integration. Product compatibility validation, configuration, and multivendor interoperability
  • Training. In classroom (hands-on)
  • Post-deployment transition assistance. Configuration changes and administration task walkthrough


Enterprises today struggle with ways to deploy a myriad of assets efficiently and economically. As industries move toward technology trends such as BYOD, a more mobile workforce, and self-service needs, enterprises increasingly recognize the importance of providing a better end-user experience with regard to deploying new technology. Enterprises need to keep the workforce working and productive; it is unacceptable for delays or inefficiencies to occur when rolling out new assets to employees who are the life force of every organization. Whatever their role, whether sales, business and application development, customer service, support, or administration, employees and their organizations cannot afford disruptions when deploying new technology.

For organizations, the goals of deployment should include the following:

  • Make it fast. End users are not as efficient during the deployment process, so the key is to make the process as quick as possible. This requires intelligent preplanning and staging and efficient execution.
  • Minimize impact on IT operations. Well-planned asset deployments do not interrupt other critical IT operations.
  • Focus on customer (user) experience. Speed and automation enable end users to minimize the amount of time they spend actively involved in the deployment process, and reliability of the new system will determine how quickly the user adopts the technology.

The scale and scope of user demand is growing faster than ever, with each person using technology differently and with increasingly varied requirements. Most enterprise deployment programs and capabilities cannot keep up with the variety of needs. Faster and more precise deployments on an as-needed basis are critical capabilities required to keep users up and running and productive. To streamline deployment efforts, organizations must ask the following questions:

  • Do we outsource it? Should we utilize an outside service provider to take care of all our deployment needs from imaging to onsite or remote installation with data migration?
  • Do we keep deployment efforts internal? Should we use our own tools and resources?
  • Do we utilize some form of hybrid approach? Should we employ device as a service?

IDC survey data shows that over 50% of enterprises are using external resources to help deploy new assets.


Deployment Strategies

The first building block of any efficient device deployment is the strategy. Organizations with a standardized approach to deployment tend to have much more efficient and productive results. One of the more efficient PC deployment strategies is to replace PCs every three years to optimize compatibility with new operating systems and help minimize IT support costs (see Table 1).



Deployment Strategies


Management Challenges

There is no one right answer with regard to the best way to properly deliver deployment services. Every enterprise is unique; depending on the makeup of the enterprise, deployment experiences can vary greatly. Enterprises that are highly standardized in the applications and devices they allow will be able to roll out assets in an efficient manner, while enterprises that are considerably more lax in the controls of the devices and applications used by employees may have more costly deployment efforts.

Today’s generation of highly mobile employees — many of whom work in a BYOD cloud-based environment — expect instant gratification. IT teams are challenged in delivering a deployment experience for these employees. Organizations must figure out how many resources to devote to deployment, and this extends to IT staff as well. Considering the challenges of efficiently and effectively mustering deployment resources, IDC has identified some of the business value areas where a vendor can help reduce deployment costs.

The Business Value Benefits of Deployment Services

IDC evaluated the PC deployment activities of 550 organizations in the survey. Given that 64% of respondents deploy assets one to four times per year, IDC was able to identify benefits of using third-party deployment services. These benefits fall into the three areas discussed in the sections that follow.

Time to Market

Companies were able to reduce the time to deploy PCs by 59–68%.

IDC asked companies to estimate how much time deployments required when conducted in-house. IDC then compared those estimates with how long it took when using deployment service providers. Depending on whether they were using tier 1, 2, or 3 services, organizations were able to significantly reduce the time required to complete deployments. On average, companies were able to reduce rollouts by 1–3.7 weeks (see Table 2).



Time to Complete a PC Deployment (Weeks)


IT Staff Labor Costs for Deployment

IDC has evaluated the labor requirements (in FTE hours) for each activity associated with PC deployment (see Table 3). Compared with organizations doing all their deployments in–house, organizations using deployment services were able to reduce IT labor costs associated with deployment by 73%, resulting in savings of $950 per device. (IDC used an IT staff–loaded annual salary of $100,000 for the purposes of this white paper. The salary varies by country and vertical).


IT staff cost savings calculations compare the IT labor hours for PC deployment using only internal assets with the IT staff hours for PC deployment supported by PC deployment services. IT staff costs are derived from the time differences in hours multiplied by a standard U.S. loaded annual salary (salary x 1.28 load factor to account for benefits) of $100,000. Hourly salary is derived from annual salary divided by 1,880 hours in a work year.


PC Deployment Services Benefits: IT Staff Cost Reduction


Improved End-User Experience

In addition to delivering full operational access to the newest devices an average of 60% faster, enterprises using deployment services were able to provide a much better user experience (see Table 4). Depending on how deployment efforts were staged, users could save 0.64–4.89 hours for the transition from their old devices to their new devices, with an average time savings of 1.24 hours. This reduced the total time each user was unable to access his/her devices by 46%, saving $46.23 per user in lost productivity (at an annual loaded salary of $70,000).


End-user cost savings calculations compare the end-user hours lost for PC deployment using only internal assets with the end-user hours for PC deployment supported by PC deployment services. End-user costs are derived from the time differences in hours multiplied by a standard U.S. loaded annual salary (salary x 1.28 load factor to account for benefits) of $70,000. Hourly salary is derived from annual salary divided by 1,880 hours in a work year.


PC Deployment Services Benefits: End-User Productivity Cost Savings


Net Benefit Analysis

Total IT labor cost savings per user for a tier 3 deployment are $950 (73% savings). If we use the Dell ProDeploy Plus service list price of $330 per device, we see that the net savings is $620 per device (48% reduction) (see Figure 1).


Total PC Deployment Costs per User per Device



IDC identified gaps in deployment abilities among enterprises. The level of asset deployment maturity among enterprises today is shown in Table 5. As the data illustrates, maturity levels for all aspects of deployment strategies are lagging.

In addition to process maturity, enterprises need to take into account whether they have the following capabilities to determine how efficiently and effectively they can handle their own deployment efforts:

  • Well-trained personnel: It’s important that technicians are both well trained and properly motivated to ensure that they are dedicated to their work. Incentivize them to provide the best experience for the end users, and give them feedback on how to make deployment processes better. The workspace should be open and inviting to promote collaboration between technicians.
  • Tools and automation: With the proper tools in place, most deployment issues can be resolved remotely in a quick and efficient manner. Any capabilities provided by tools should also include some form of accurate asset/inventory management that can feed into an enterprise’s overall asset management application. Support tools should be advanced enough to support the mobile workforce anytime, anywhere. In addition, predictive tools can enable the service desk to be aware of potential issues such as out-of-date firmware or disk or memory failure. Tools should also allow for remote control of the end-user device and record and log that session into the help desk.

It is costly and time consuming for enterprises to perform all deployment activities effectively. Hence enterprises should use vendors for four primary reasons:

  • More cost effective
  • More expertise around the technology
  • Less risk of outage or failure in the future
  • More effective and efficient deployment


Deployment Process Maturity



Dell is a well-known solution vendor in the technology space. As a result of the efficiencies and cost savings that IDC identified in the survey, it makes business sense to use a provider such as Dell when deploying PCs and other IT assets. IDC believes that Dell’s deployment services can help enterprises establish easy and cost-effective deployment processes. By offloading important yet routine deployment activities via Dell’s offerings, enterprises can stay focused on the most important business operational tasks and realize a cost-effective deployment strategy.

Dell offers an end-to end-deployment service that is designed to provide optimized deployment processes and reduce costs. In addition, Dell’s services provide a complete project management offering to support an enterprise’s IT staff.

Dell’s deployment services are designed to minimize disruption for the IT staff, thereby easing the deployment process and making it less overwhelming. Tasks such as data migration, data transfers, imaging, and setting changes can be done quickly and correctly when utilizing Dell’s deployment services. IDC believes that the methodology used behind the deployment process proves to be strategic and cost effective for many enterprises (see Figure 2).


ProDeploy Client Suite: Feature Comparison



Device proliferation and BYOD initiatives will continue to plague IT departments on how to best deploy assets. Keeping internal staff trained on the nuances of deploying IT assets instead of focusing on how staff can use those assets to drive business initiatives is not a strategic or productive mandate. In today’s era of digital transformation, innovation via technologies is a business imperative. As such, enterprises that utilize third-party service providers to manage asset deployments are realizing significant benefits in terms of cost, efficiency, and effectiveness.


Organizations face an ongoing struggle to coordinate efforts across heterogeneous BYOD landscapes, and many are looking for a provider to just “make it work.” IDC believes that IT departments will look to vendors to provide best practices and engineering talent to help install and integrate end-user systems. Dell has consistently demonstrated success when working with hardware and software vendors to support deliverables that span multiple vendors and technologies, and IDC expects that Dell will utilize that advantage to expand its installation and integration capabilities.

IDC believes that deployment services will begin to blend in with the ongoing management and support of IT environments, and Dell should watch for customer needs to continue to change. IDC believes that to be successful in this market, Dell must continue to build capabilities and offerings such as PC as a service and workplace as a service and provide users with the robust offerings needed to make a decision on how and where they want to consume these assets.

Dell has been delivering deployment services for years. Having a consistent delivery mechanism for all of the company’s new services on a global scale could be a challenge. Talent can sometimes be an issue when rolling out global initiatives, and Dell will need to make sure it has trained sales and technical resources globally to meet the possible influx of demand these new services may generate.


Enterprises are facing a number of technical challenges and costs when deploying new IT assets. As a result, utilizing a service provider that can eliminate these barriers and help implement new technology faster and efficiently will help the business overall. Enterprises that are looking to adopt deployment services to save money should seek to take advantage of partnering with a vendor that can provide a successful deployment strategy.

While 50% of businesses use some type of deployment service when rolling out new PCs for a number of reasons, “cost effectiveness” is cited as the main driver for implementing deployment services. IDC believes that Dell provides deployment services that can deliver cost savings, faster time to market, and a better customer experience.



About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,100 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company.