The cloud computing industry has evolved rapidly from its humble beginnings as online storage providers to a variety of solutions for many business or individual needs. First there was SaaS (Software as a Service), which expanded into support frameworks for IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service). Today, cloud computing is being discussed in terms of XaaS: Anything as a Service.
Tech industry analysts are forecasting that the global demand for XaaS will grow at a compounded annual rate of over 38 percent through 2020. The XaaS concept is driven by the flexibility and convenience it provides. There is a constantly growing range of solutions that offer businesses an affordable and customizable way to approach IT regardless of company size and growth.
XaaS is an architecture that allows clients access to software deployed over the provider’s servers so that it functions as an integrated system to the end user. XaaS could be a bundled package of programs or a single application. The “X” could refer to any combination of Storage as a Service, Anti-Malware as a Service, Linux as a Service, Analytics as a Service, and much more.
One XaaS package could include virtual desktops and servers (IaaS), customer relationship and scheduling tools (SaaS), and CloudLinux support (PaaS) for specific applications. Different vendors may also offer telephony or backup and restore services as part of a standard package. XaaS can offer you a specific or comprehensive solution from the same provider that ensures smooth integration and fast deployment.
Adapting to XaaS
Even a large organization can easily adjust its processes and infrastructure to a cloud-based environment. XaaS is essentially a consumer-oriented product, which is a departure from traditional IT principals. Cloud computing has reached the point where it can replace most or all of your IT needs so long as you have a robust internet connection.
Cloud providers can save you money on staff and hardware since they take on all the responsibility of deploying, managing, and upgrading contracted services. With cloud computing providing essential services like security, monitoring, and data backups, IT teams today can focus on more ambitious, value-driven projects. XaaS is also flexible in that it offers services on demand for both mobile and in-house workers, regardless of office hours or locations.
XaaS allows your company to have greater agility in its IT assets, zero system maintenance, lower expenses budgeted to a monthly fee, and ready access to new technologies as they become available. It can provide easy connection to a number of modern utilities useful to your business in volatile areas such as market trending and regulatory compliance. This can provide you real-time data for making decisions.
XaaS can provide one-solution access to services that were once spread across several vendors, such as accounting, anti-virus software, and monitoring financial markets. Cloud computing allows enterprises to pick and choose whatever services they require and upgrade, downgrade, or change them as their needs and priorities change. The true responsibility for supporting business growth lies with your XaaS provider.
Your cloud provider will ensure that you have all the patches and upgrades to your software as soon as they are available. The provider also maintains expert knowledge of new IT developments. With your XaaS services in place, you and your staff can concentrate on core business activities.
Cloud Computing Today
XaaS lets you outsource any service yet take confidence in seamless integration and high availability. If you can identify the provider and services that best fit your needs, you can focus your resources and energy on developing your strengths.
Most cloud services are provided through hybrid cloud models or IaaS/PaaS structures, ensuring that XaaS networks are fast and reliable. Freedom from maintenance and deployment burdens saves you money over time. An XaaS provider assures you of minimal risks in IT support for your business strategy.
In summary, cloud computing has grown into an Anything-as-a-Service solution that’s transforming IT infrastructures. It’s a solution that affords more flexibility and lower costs than ever before, while still providing high availability, reliable deployment, and real-time access to tools and information. XaaS is rapidly becoming a crucial component in a digital world.
Josh McAllister is a freelance tech writer and business consultant based in New York. In his free time, he enjoys all things geeky and gadgetry, the outdoors, and spending time with his family. You can reach him on Twitter @josh8mcallister