Digital transformation changed the face of business infrastructure forever. Companies that hadn’t made a change were compelled to act quickly during the pandemic to continue business operations and cater to a changing landscape. Interestingly, 89% of all companies have already adopted a digital-first business strategy or plan to do so. And by 2023, digital transformation investment is expected to approach $7 trillion.
As a huge portion of the world’s businesses completes their digital transformations, their need for cloud solutions also spikes. This need for cloud service models has been growing over the last few decades, and by now, services delivered over a network have become the norm. To meet the demand for cloud-based apps and services, XaaS is the answer to delivering a convenient, scalable cloud business model.
What is XaaS?
XaaS stands for “Everything-as-a-Service” or “Anything-as-a-Service.” TechTarget defines it succinctly: XaaS is a general, collective term that refers to delivering anything as a service. It recognizes the vast number of products, tools, and technologies that vendors now deliver to users as a service over a network, rather than provided locally or on-site within an enterprise.
Interestingly, there are many cloud-based service types that were prevalent before and during the era of rapid digital transformation, and XaaS encompasses all of them. Below are the most common examples of “as-a-service models,” considered by most to be the three main XaaS categories:
- SaaS: “Software-as-a-Service.” Even if you are unfamiliar with the XaaS concept, you’ve likely heard of SaaS. SaaS delivers applications through the internet, and the applications are managed through a vendor. You typically don’t need to install or download anything to start using a SaaS product. As long as you have the internet, you’re good to go. Examples include Salesforce, Slack, Dropbox, and ZenDesk.
- PaaS: “Platform-as-a-Service.” PaaS is similar to SaaS; however, the main difference is that PaaS delivers a framework to developers to create their own apps and software. Examples include AWS Elastic Beanstalk, OpenShift, and Google App Engine.
- IaaS: “Infrastructure-as-a-Service.” Essentially, IaaS refers to the use of remote infrastructure based on subscription. This model allows users to ‘rent’ virtual computing resources, like storage or servers, on an as-needed basis as they build and scale. Examples include Digital Ocean, AWS EC2, and Google Compute Engine.
Benefits of the XaaS Model
While digital transformation has certainly driven home the ubiquity of XaaS, cloud service models have very specific benefits that appeal to every business and organization.
- Reduced Costs: The XasS model can help reduce expenses. You don’t have to pay for your own servers, expensive hardware, or additional staff and hours to install and maintain equipment.
- Scalability: XaaS expands your options for scaling your business. If your applications, infrastructure, and frameworks are managed by a third-party, you can easily ramp up or down since the vendors are equipped to quickly handle expansions.
- Convenience: Often, with a XaaS model, you’re reaping the benefit of convenience. Updates happen automatically, your teams don't have to manage servers and hardware, and you don’t need to worry about time-consuming and disruptive installations.
- Data Backup and Security: When you have lots of data, a STaaS (Storage-as-a-Service) system will be more cost effective, but it also can be more secure. Cloud vendors will often have larger teams and more resources to protect your data and prevent outages and security leaks, likely more efficiently than your internal teams likely would.
How XaaS Helps IT Teams in the Digital Transformation
Many IT leaders have noted the XaaS model and have used it to help manage their IT operations more smoothly, especially as organizations transition to digital-first. IT is busier than ever, introducing new systems, maintaining more SaaS platforms, and intercepting a high volume of requests. Cloud service-based platforms like ITSM software and IT automation will help teams deliver faster resolutions to service requests, stay on top of maintenance, and strengthen performance.
The XaaS model also opens up revenue opportunities. For example, IT can be offered as a managed service, or ITSM software can help teams offer product support to customers. In addition, customers can use an ITSM customer portal to submit requests, live chat with reps, or find answers to simple questions in a knowledge base.
If you’d like to see how ITSM software can promote your XaaS initiatives, why not take a platform for a spin? Try DeskDirector for free today.