Businesses and IT teams are well acquainted with the advantages of tapping managed service providers for Platform, Software or Infrastructure as a Service solutions. But the next big trend combines them all: Everything as a service (XaaS).
The XaaS trend seeks to unite the disparate services model and is becoming a growing reality as the cloud evolves, allowing everything from devices to security to be managed remotely as opposed to on-site.
What Does the XaaS Model Look Like?
The advantage for any business, and especially small businesses with tight resources, is that companies can keep up with growing IT demands by moving away from on-site resources as is appropriate.
In fact, Deloitte predicts that in the near future, the XaaS model could begin to upend traditional business models, moving instead toward a holistic view of services.
“XaaS envisions business capabilities, products, and processes not as discreet vertical offerings operating individually in silos but, rather, as a collection of horizontal services that can be accessed and leveraged across organizational boundaries,” Deloitte notes. “So, with a few technical upgrades and strategically deployed APIs, the customer service module in your ERP system that is used exclusively to support external customers can now be leveraged by other departments as well: by IT for help-desk queries, by HR for internal customers, and by logistics for vendor support, for instance.”
Further, Deloitte predicts that XaaS could put modernization goals on a new track.
“What was primarily a technical process of overhauling legacy systems becomes a broader operational and business effort to create greater efficiencies and to engage customers, employees, and business partners in new ways.”
Moreover, the model could bring new processes and products to light, since it requires companies to undertake a complete catalog of assets and plan for investments that impact the entire ecosystem.
The Benefits of XaaS for Businesses
If this disruption to business models seems daunting, it comes with some clear advantages, many of which manifest themselves from day one.
“Services offer significant benefits for businesses out of the gate, including simplified IT deployment, a smaller on-premises physical footprint, and fewer wasted assets by only using and paying for what you need, when you need it,” Grad Rosenbaum, vice president and general manager of the Americas Solutions Business at HP, writes in a recent BizTech article.
XaaS models can also be more secure — devices are never out of reach of the cloud, meaning that patches and updates can be administered automatically, and lost or stolen devices can be locked or the data wiped. And, with all the data stored in the cloud, XaaS can also make room for businesses to better glean operational efficiencies.
Not to mention, as IT teams and other employees are freed up from everyday tasks, it can make room for innovation as well. And without all that extra equipment in IT closets, businesses can easily become more sustainable operations.
One of the greatest advantages, however, is that XaaS can allow businesses to be nimbler, pivoting services as they see fit without the need to build out on-premises underlying IT.
According to Deloitte's 2018 Flexible Consumption Models Study, released in late 2018, greater agility is one of the main advantages of XaaS models. In fact, 75 percent of respondents said XaaS makes it easier and faster for them to prototype new solutions, while 70 percent noted the offering made it possible for them to access tools that would otherwise be too expensive.
The bottom line is while on-premises solutions are likely to remain vital to many businesses and their operations for several years, for small businesses looking for a way to stay competitive and streamline IT, XaaS could certainly be the future.