Total Cost of Ownership: Save with 2-in-1 Devices

Compared to separate laptop and tablet devices

In today’s linked, productivity-centric world, employees need 24/7 connectivity and remote access to business applications and proprietary, industry-specific software. Some organizations have chosen solutions that provide their mobile workforces with two computers—a laptop to run business and productivity software and a tablet for mobile, customer-facing interactions and to run specific proprietary software.

With the ongoing expansion of cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription-based licensing, this two-device strategy might initially seem cost effective, since businesses have the option to save by purchasing one license per user rather than one license per device. However, based on our research, we have come to a different conclusion.
Considering the results of a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis, we found substantial cost savings over a three-year timeline for organizations that provide a single 2-in-1 device—such as Microsoft Surface® Pro or Microsoft® Surface Go® for Business devices—to their workforce rather than two separate devices. Such 2-in-1 devices transform between functioning as a laptop and functioning as a tablet, all in a single, integrated device. They first garnered mainstream attention in 2011.1

Organizations could expect to save up to $3,624 per user when they opt for a 2-in-1 device scenario compared to maintaining a tablet and laptop for their employees over three years. The most notable savings are accrued in hardware costs and in IT support, management, and deployment costs. In fact, while the 2-in-1 scenario offers 40 percent savings over the two-device scenario overall, the IT line items offer the highest relative savings—from a low of 62 percent savings in management and security costs to a high of 70 percent savings in deployment costs.

In addition to the quantitative benefits, we also noted multiple qualitative benefits that increase productivity and user satisfaction when employees must manage and maintain one device instead of two devices as a part of their work environment. While not easily quantifiable, these benefits can substantially enhance employee retention and recruitment, as well as increase workplace efficiency and productivity.

Prowess Internal Research

April 2019