Re: Spot on!
Let us debunk these claims:
"avoidance of capex (and potential debt/difficulty to get loans)"
Capex for most IT hardware comes without potential debt. An employee either needs a workstation or they don't. It's that simple. Same for printers, where cheap and reliable B/W LaserJet printers win the day. If you can't afford the hardware, you definitely can't afford the employee in most cases.
"avoidance of maintenance cost"
Maintenance costs for most IT hardware is minimal. We are talking about parts replacement. It's technical support which still incurs the bulk of the costs and renting your hardware doesn't fix that because by and large, vendor support is inferior to your in-house (or even outsourced) IT support when it comes to general troubleshooting.
"avoidance of obsolescence"
OEMs like HP offer 5 years of next day on-site repair coverage as an option for both servers and workstations. Microsoft keeps server variants of Windows updated for 10 years while workstation variants now get lowest common denominator rolling updates "for as long as the OEM supports the computer". This means businesses in general need only set an alarm for 5 years time and then begin rolling out new hardware as and when appropriate.
Due to the coming end of Moore's Law, good quality hardware will now easily outlive the 10 year mark and continue to work with the latest Windows releases. That is why these vendors can get away with selling these products "as a service" in the first place. Esepcially with AMD processors, where vendors can keep the same motherboards in service for many years, while offering "the latest" business-class CPUs.
"elasticity/flexibility up and down and in terms of contract terms"
Existing cloud solutions which don't involve hardware-as-a-service can cover temporary excesses. There really is no need to rent physical hardware to achieve flexibility, when the hardware you're purchasing can easily last a decade.
"immediacy of services (for cloud services at least) with no lead times"
People can immediately evaluate most products/services. Many evaluations can be extended with a quick phone call to the sales department. It's common for evaluations to last 90 days or more for many services. Renting hardware doesn't offer immediacy unless it's IaaS which is outside the scope of this.
"outsource of infrastructure expertise"
Outsourcing your IT is a bad idea, outsourcing your infrastructure outside of your outsourced IT is even worse. That's self-flaggelation of the tallest order.
"outsource of hosting and connectivity"
That's outside of the scope of renting hardware from a vendor like Lenovo.