Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) enabled access to software services over the Internet on a subscription model. Platform as a Service (PaaS) made available the software and hardware tools needed to develop and deploy applications. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) allowed companies to access operating, storage and networking systems on demand.
These services were a boon to organisations in terms of cost savings, ready access to software and a lot more. But now comes in the X factor. The XaaS, or Everything as a Service.
The Incredible X Factor
Lesley MacDonald, Programs Manager at Dell EMC explains what XaaS is: “From its early origins of software-as-a-service (SaaS), the cloud-based on-demand services category has evolved into anything- and everything-as-a-service that isn’t nailed to the floor. XaaS is the essence of cloud computing – a smorgasbord of utility-based offerings that can be consumed on a per-seat, per-month model, depending on usage.”
With XaaS, companies can now pick and choose exactly which services they need. They can get anything and everything they need without heavy capital investment. More on that in a bit, but let’s list out all the reasons why XaaS is awesome:
- Lower costs
- No maintenance
- Speed of access to new technologies
- Faster response to market changes
These benefits of XaaS is much more inherent to small businesses. To be able to gain access to technologies and software capabilities that they wouldn’t have had access to if it wasn’t for XaaS, is a huge leap in terms of growth.
Produce More with Less Cost
Less cost is music to the ears of a small business. Having a great product or service is simply not enough to stay ahead in competition anymore. The need to focus on underlying infrastructure and systems and to keep abreast with technologies that could up their game in the business often takes up a lot of time, effort and cost. Investing in the resources needed to acquire and maintain these systems were a huge capital investment, particularly for small business that weren’t technology-based. Well, that was until XaaS.
Think of all the savings a small business could make if they didn’t have to invest in hardware, licensed software, data storage facilities, and personnel to process data and maintain it all. A recent article on Forbes brings out the numbers as highlighted by Vlad Shmunis, chairman and CEO of RingCentral. Ring Central is a cloud services provider with more than 300,000 small-business customers. Talking about unified communications, he says that it would take nearly $60,000 for a multi-location business if they wanted to install traditional on-site hardware for communications. Whereas a cloud-based communication solution would require less than $10,000. Now that’s cost savings alright!
Another way XaaS reduces cash is by eliminating the need to hire highly skilled IT personnel to manage their systems. The maintenance is usually completely taken care of by the cloud service provider. This also frees up resources, which can be better used to concentrate on the company’s core functions.
Possibilities with XaaS
Hiro Imamura, vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group at Canon U.S.A says: “With the growth of cloud computing, there is also a growing demand for businesses to access tools more conveniently, and SaaS delivers by allowing third-party providers to host applications to make these tools readily available via the Internet.” The Canon Business Services Platform, a software subscription delivery and management infrastructure platform, is on its way there. Through this platform, Canon partners can offer, order, manage, bill, and deliver subscription-based document and information management solutions.
HCL’s Digital Services exchange platform is another excellent example. Kalyan Kumar, Senior Vice President & Chief Technologist – ITO, HCL Technologies says that the platform “will leverage HCL’s unique DryIce orchestration concept which aggregates business services such as content and analytics to deliver in an outcome based everything-as-a service model (XaaS) model.”
CRM management, infrastructure management, Disaster Recovery, Desktop as a Service – this is just the beginning of endless possibilities that XaaS can enable. Tapping into what serves their needs best, small businesses are empowered to grow and build their business at a fraction of the cost. XaaS makes this possible. It remains to be seen what else comes out of this evolution of Cloud Computing. What could beat Anything and Everything as a Service?