I know, I know – what is this new fluffy terminology that I am introducing to you?
Well, since this is the future of cloud computing, and I have been talking about cloud computing for the past few weeks already, let me tell you what this is!
What Is Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS)?
Everything-as-a-Service, or XaaS, is an amalgamation of several products, tools and abilities that are deliverable to the user as a service. It delivers services over the cloud instead of on-site software implementations, which gives businesses more flexibility as the servers are housed in a warehouse, or sometimes, locally.
There are countless examples of XaaS, but the most common encompass the three general cloud computing models: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Benefits of XaaS
So since I am introducing this term to you, there must be some benefits right! Well, you aren’t wrong:
Improved expense models and ease of deployment: The two main reasons for increasing demand for anything as a service are improved expense models and ease of deployment, both of which are factors that can influence business continuity during difficult times such as COVID-19.
Speedy remote implementation: As remote work gains an increasingly solid foothold in global corporate strategy, speedy remote implementation of new business processes and applications, and moving IT resources away from remote system management toward more valuable projects are the needs of the hour, and XaaS is best suited to fulfill these needs.
Minimized costs: Companies find XaaS appealing because it allows them to minimize costs by directly purchasing business services from providers through a subscription-based model. What’s more, XaaS also allows direct delivery of these services to employee endpoints using only a username and password—a separate installation by the IT team is not required.
Easy implementation: XaaS providers have used cloud delivery platforms to revolutionize how businesses purchase software products and services. With XaaS, enterprises today simply choose the solution they need, buy it, have it delivered digitally, and pay per usage.
Quick and cost-effective adoption: Especially in these uncertain market conditions created by the pandemic, XaaS models enable corporations to swiftly adapt to dynamic industry trends through quick and cost-effective adoption of the latest business solutions.
Flexibility: Multitenant approaches enable cloud service vendors to provide flexibility to clients, while resource pooling and speedy & elastic support allow management teams to simply adopt new services or decommission existing ones as per their business requirements.
Access to the latest technologies: With XaaS, organizations can access the latest technologies quickly and automate the scaling-up or scaling-down of their infrastructure as and when required.
Streamlined IT operations: In the initial days of the pandemic, when companies started rapidly shifting to a work-from-home (WFH) model, most available IT resources, regardless of specialization, were dedicated to adapting enterprise network infrastructure to suit remote working. As such, higher-value projects fell by the wayside. However, the XaaS delivery model has helped many companies worldwide streamline IT operations again and enable resources to regain focus on innovation.
Digital transformation: The benefits of XaaS are manifold for IT. Last year, several organizations leveraged XaaS to transform themselves digitally and boost their IT agility. A report by Deloitte states that more than 7 out of every ten companies have adopted XaaS for over 50% of their IT needs. With XaaS, more users gain access to the latest technologies, thus fostering innovation.
Reduction in the need for resources: Apart from cost-cutting and simplified deployments, companies have also developed a preference for the XaaS model because it enables them to decommission cumbersome onsite IT infrastructure such as hard drives, servers, and network switches. This, of course, translates to lower overheads due to a reduction in the need for power, cooling, equipment space, IT staffing, and troubleshooting.
Disadvantages of XaaS
But like every other technology, XaaS too, has certain drawbacks:
Unreliable: Sometimes, the internet can break down on the server-side, client-side, or somewhere in between, and if this happens, certain critical processes may come to a complete standstill. Of course, there are safeguards in place to prevent such instances on the server-side, with most XaaS providers offering robust SLAs and having redundant infrastructure ready in place, specifically for such adverse events.
Not scalable: Apart from this, smaller XaaS providers may sometimes fail to scale up according to user demand, leading to latency, data storage, bandwidth, and information retrieval.
Prone to discontinuity: Another possibility is the XaaS vendor being acquired, discontinuing its services, or altering its roadmap, thus impacting client operations. Finally, visibility into complex IT operations can be hampered through the use of XaaS solutions.
Yet overall, the benefits outweighs to disadvantages!