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What is Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS)?

Posted by Henry Cheang | June 25, 2014 8:00 AM

The march of progress continues…

As you may recall, I recently wrote about the advantages of software-as-a-service (SaaS). Today, I expand on what SaaS is escalating into – Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS), which is also known as Anything-as-a-Service.

XaaS

So, just as a quick refresher, SaaS refers to a cloud-computing approach to furnishing users with computer applications – all they have to do is just access particular software apps through the internet. XaaS takes that concept a (big) step further and basically offers everything that’s not nailed to the ground as a service over the internet. That’s why the term is XaaS – the “X” stands for whatever it needs to stand for. It’s a catchall term for everything from “platform” to “disaster recovery”.

 

Of course, because we live in an acronym-rich world, there are many _aaS terms when you need to drill down for specificity of purpose and function. In the spirit of helpfulness, here’s a handy-dandy summarizing table of some of the major ones that are most likely making their way to your company (if you haven’t adopted them already).

Examples of major XaaS’s

The _aaS

What it stands for

What it does

DRaaS

Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service

Recovers not just data, but also all the infrastructure and applications that were in place prior to man-made or natural disaster. Ensures business continuity.

DaaS

 

Desktop-as-a-Service

 

A virtual desktop managed over the cloud, the provider maintains and upgrades desktop apps for customers. The provider typically secures, stores, and backs up its customers’ data.

PaaS

Platform-as-a-Service

Actually provides the end user with a full development platform with which to create, run, and host her or his own applications. Likely the best-known PaaS is the Google App Engine that allows end users to fully develop using Python, Java, PHP, and Go.

IaaS

Infrastructure-as-a-Service

Exactly what it says in the acronym: IaaS is a situation wherein the end user installs virtually nothing onsite. Servers, storage, networks – and so on and so forth – are completely outsourced and held elsewhere.

 

These are not the only XaaS’s – just the major ones. There are others that I won’t get into – for example, Metal-as-a-Service (MaaS), Storage-as-a-Service (the other SaaS – are you confused yet?). For now, just know that the XaaS trend is growing. Massively. The genie’s out of the bottle!

Why this XaaS proliferation?

Major companies are wholeheartedly adopting and pushing XaaS – both as provider and as user. For Microsoft, pushing for XaaS is actually one of their defining strategies going forward. They’re going to try and put everything on the cloud. By the time they’re done, there’s going to be little difference between their onsite and cloud-based versions of their applications.

And why wouldn’t the tech giants make this big push? XaaS brings with it at least three big advantages:

  1. Flexible scaling

o   The beauty in outsourcing just about every technology-related business process is that you won’t be bearing the true costs of up- or down-scaling your processes and operations in response to strategic or business changes. That burden will fall to your XaaS provider.

  1. Access to evergreen technology

o   Technological evolution has long since been barreling along at an exponential pace. Sadly, for most of us, our budgets only increase linearly, if at all. Keeping up with new developments is difficult less from an implementation perspective and more from a cost perspective. XaaS changes that for you, the end user, because, as before, the burden of keeping up with advances lies with the provider and not with you. The key idea here is that making good use of XaaS means that your operations stay evergreen at no extra cost!

  1. Much more effort devoted to core competencies

o   Let’s face it: You got into business because you had an idea or a product that you just know is better than anybody else’s. You didn’t start a company to worry about its IT infrastructure and business process management. Outsourcing essentially everything that’s not your core competency means that you will be able to invest nearly all of your resources and energies into being the best at what you do best.

And that’s it for now – I hope that I’ve given you all a useful little primer on XaaS and its advantages. For more in-depth conversations on how XaaS can help your business, don’t hesitate to contact us at Cimpl. We are Canada’s market leader in IT and telecom expense management thanks to our expertise in SaaS, and we definitely have a lot to say about XaaS that can optimize your business processes!

 

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Topics: SaaS, Acronyms, XaaS

Written by Henry Cheang

Henry has a lifelong passion for science and technology. This enthusiasm is put to good use in a cutting-edge software company like Cimpl. As product marketer, Henry researches market and user needs to develop user and buyer personas, contributes to product design, and helps coordinate product messaging. Henry also writes nearly the entirety of all documentation for Cimpl’s many successful platforms. In his spare time, Henry devotes much energy to family, friends, and martial arts. Henry recently completed his Master’s in Business and Administration from Concordia University, where he specialized in the study of marketing, organizational behavior, and corporate governance. He has authored academic papers on the latter two subjects; these papers form part of his bibliography of over 20 professional research publications.

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