Eric Reed

 

These days, pretty much anything can be sold “as a service” – and by anything, I mean anything. You can get everything from groceries to cars to business technology as a service. But how do all these “as a service” offerings work, what the heck do all those “aaS” acronyms stand for, and, most importantly, is this a good deal for business owners?

If you’ve been curious about adding “as a service” capabilities to your business, this in-depth, highly informative article is for you.

Part 1 of this series defines and explains the “as a service” model. Part 2, coming soon, will go over your main “as a service” options, as well as some of the more common acronyms used in the “as a service” world.

What Is XaaS?

First off, let’s start using a convenient acronym: XaaS refers to X (anything) as a Service. When you’re referring to the group of every “as a service” product out there, it’s simpler to say “XaaS” instead of “‘as a service’ offerings’.”

Since the idea of XaaS is that you can get anything as a service, your options for what to do with XaaS are nearly unlimited. However, business users typically choose from a small number of applicable services, including:

  • SaaS – Software as a Service, such as your ERP software on the cloud
  • IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service, which acts like your servers… but on the cloud
  • PaaS – Platform as a Service, which provides already-configured platforms to speed your development tasks
  • DRaaS – Disaster Recovery as a Service, including secure, off-site backups and business continuity solutions

We’ll cover more of the top XaaS solutions in Part 2 of this series, so keep a look out for that article.

How Does XaaS Work?

Using XaaS, companies of all sizes have the option to access enterprise-level software at a cost that makes sense. This is because each company only pays for what they use.

To conceptualize this “pay for what you use” idea, you can think of a XaaS system as having a use tax: every company gets access to a high-performing, fully optimized system, but each company only needs to pay for what they use of the overall system.

XaaS is typically delivered over the public cloud, and though some business leaders worry that data on the public cloud isn’t secure, that idea is a bit old fashioned.

In fact, XaaS users’ data remains entirely private as if it were stored on your own in-house servers. This privacy is easy to achieve and maintain with secure partitions using digital defense walls, which keep your data entirely separate from the data of other companies on your shared servers. There will be absolutely no data overlap and your employees will never be able to access other companies’ records (or vice versa).

What Are the Benefits of XaaS?

If you run a larger company that uses more resources, this “use tax” model may have you thinking that XaaS systems are only a benefit for smaller companies.

Not so.

In fact, the flexibility of the XaaS model can benefit your larger company by freeing up your CapEx and increasing your agility. This is because, with XaaS, you’ll no longer have to pay a high upfront cost for business technology. Instead, you’ll pay only a low monthly or annual fee, which you can allocate toward OpEx.

This new business model puts the risk securely on the shoulders of your vendor because you’ll have the freedom to easily change vendors and products. If a vendor no longer provides the services or capabilities you need, you can switch. In addition, the many mix-and-match integrated tools for XaaS solutions can help you add and remove business capabilities exactly when you need them. Some integrations can be rolled out in mere minutes.

The ability to make fast changes can help you stay ahead of your competitors because you’ll be able to act quickly in response to changing market conditions. Without the flexibility of XaaS, your company will be locked in to potentially costly tech… and your competitors may get the upper hand if they’ve already opted for the freedom of XaaS.

Is XaaS Right for Your Business?

While some businesses can immediately take advantage of the many benefits included in “as a service” solutions, companies in highly regulated industries may find themselves unable to pick and choose their solutions at will.

If you find yourself in the latter camp, you’ll want to approach the “as a service” trend with caution and you’ll want to plan your migration strategy with care. Choosing the right cloud consultant to help walk you through the “as a service” process can help you ensure you’ll get the benefits you want, without unexpected regulatory surprises.

For the past 20 years, Centroid has helped business leaders like you make critical decisions about your integral technology. Whether you face the many challenges of restrictive regulation or you’re simply looking to update your business with today’s top cutting-edge solutions, Centroid can help you compare your options, implement the best choice, and then manage your backup and monitoring for you, so you can focus on what really matters: your business.

 

Contact Centroid online to find out if your business would be a good fit for “as a service” solutions.

 

Check out Part 2 of this series to find out more about why business leaders are choosing XaaS and what you can get “as a service.” The article will also help you sort through confusing XaaS acronyms.