Every business today needs a mobile strategy. But when it comes to actually equipping your business with these devices, there are a range of options available. One of the more consequential will be whether you opt to buy your hardware outright, or choose a leasing deal instead.

Both of these options have their pros and cons, but which one you go for will affect your enterprise mobile strategy for many years to come, so it’s important you get it right. So, what are the pros and cons of leasing versus buying?

The benefits of leasing and buying

For many firms, one of the most appealing benefits of a leasing option for mobile devices will be the ability to get access to the latest hardware without expensive upfront investment. With IT budgets often tight and managers having to justify any significant capital expenditure, being able to avoid this will be advantageous for firms of all sizes.

In addition to this, it also means your costs are more predictable. With a fixed cost on a monthly basis that can be factored into your accounting, you know exactly what your expenditure will be. This should include any support and repair issues you face, so there should be no nasty surprises if you need to replace or fix broken equipment in a hurry.

On the other hand, buying devices outright offers a few benefits. First and foremost is the simplicity this can offer to buyers. With everything dealt with up front, businesses won’t have to worry about being locked into a longer-term contract. Instead, you simply choose whatever equipment will be best for you and it’s yours to do with as you choose.

The downsides of each

However, both leasing and buying come with downsides that need to be weighed against these benefits. When it comes to buying, the largest and most obvious drawback is the large upfront cost. While this is only a small part of the total cost of ownership equation for firms, it may take a long time to see a return on investment with this strategy.

If businesses need to upgrade quickly or provision a new department as they expand, it may therefore be tough for them to equip large numbers of workers through an upfront strategy.

Leasing, on the other hand, has its own potential drawbacks. While the upfront costs will be lower, leasing agreements may work out to be more expensive overall, so you could be trading initial convenience for longer-term expenses.

It’s therefore important to determine whether this will be the case for your firm. You will have to consider a range of factors, including the specifics of any deal, your customer credit profile, hardware selection, residual value, the term of deal and many more.

The right decision for you

Ultimately, the decision of whether to lease or buy mobile devices will depend on the unique circumstances of your business. A trusted partner can help talk you through the options and determine which one is most appropriate for your needs, but in general, there are a few key questions that you need to ask before making a final decision on a lease.

These include:

  • What type of lease is best for me?
  • Is there a buyout option?
  • Am I able to add to the agreement?
  • How long is the term?
  • What happens if I want to leave early?


Meanwhile, when assessing the merits of buying outright, key questions include:

  • What will the total cost of ownership be?
  • What plans do I need to put in plan for maintenance/repairs?
  • How long do I expect the devices to be useful for?
  • What’s my strategy for replacing devices?


Ultimately, the decision you make will depend on a wide range of factors. But with the right partner to talk you through the process and help find the option that’s best-suited to your needs, you can ensure that you make the decision that’s most relevant to your needs and circumstances, and set your company up well for the mobile-first future that will be the norm in the coming years.

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