Defining the Future - What is XaaS?
Looking at today’s business models, As a Service (aaS) models are easy to spot. Once, we had cassette tapes and CDs. Today, we have online music subscriptions. Not only do you pay less with a music subscription service, you now have on-demand access to exponentially more content than you could afford if you had to buy each album individually. You are also no longer responsible for locally storing, organizing, and maintaining a huge library of CD’s.
With the effectiveness of the As a Service delivery model established, variations of what exactly could be provided by the “As-a-Service” model began popping up. The next giant leap forward was IaaS, or “Infrastructure-as-a-Service”. Amazon led the IaaS charge by offering access to cloud-based servers.
Cell phone providers decided to investigate the As a Service delivery model and began offering cell phones in monthly service plans. The expensive devices that were not selling were the cell phones everyone wanted but couldn’t afford. Once they moved to a monthly “As a Service” plan, the devices flew off the shelves.
Enter the XaaS model, or “Everything as a Service.” The XaaS idea is the essence of technology - a smorgasbord of utility-style offerings that can be consumed on a per-device, per-seat, per-month model, depending on usage.
Since 2008, there has been a significant change in competition due to the explosion of the internet and social media. Modern businesses now face great pressure to evolve, which has lead to the creation of alternative economic engines. One of the delivery models forged by this shift was the As a Service model.
Using this model to get to market faster than the competition, businesses quickly arrive at one of two door steps:
- Buy technology up front, or
- “As A Service”
Many businesses don’t have the ability to afford large upfront expenses for technology purchases and businesses suffer by making concessions for what they need without getting all the right pieces, commonly leaving out security and compliance. This compounding result poses the largest security concern of all time. At ImageNet, we realized businesses need access to technology, security, and compliance - and they need it FAST. ImageNet also realized that the upfront model had severe limitations on a business’s ability to procure technology, stay up to date, stay secure, and most importantly, stay in business and function properly. ImageNet began offering XaaS as their own blueprint for building and delivering new IT services as a best practice. With ImageNet's XaaS, rather than simply using flexible consumption models to cut costs and increase workforce efficiency, a thoughtful technology plan is implemented for each business to ensure proper focus for each business desired outcomes.
The XaaS operating model looks different for every company. However, it typically involves understanding the businesses needs and focusing technology on those outcomes to deliver technology services more rapidly. This includes a speedy refresh cycle comprised of reliable and viable products. The means may be different, but the desired ends are the same: speed and agility. XaaS helps businesses rapidly implement new, secure technologies and focus on their business products and services, gaining an edge on their competition.
Adopting the As-a-Service model doesn't always come easy. Companies can start to by purchasing services piece-by-piece. One approach is to begin with a less critical business function. Once that function is converted and the benefits are realized, other technology & functions can be targeted and converted.
The As-a-Service business model is collaborative, entrepreneurial, innovative and value-driven. With strong leadership – and the right technology partners and platforms - companies can tap into the great potential of the emerging As-a-Service marketplace.
Security and compliance are the chief concerns around these services, but the reliability of the provider you choose is key.
The Successful Outcomes
In this new era when businesses continuously look to squeeze value from every dollar spent, XaaS solutions have the power to be disruptive and innovative. The true value of XaaS offerings lies in their ability to streamline the way businesses leverage IT-powered business solutions, enabling them to focus on their core competencies to gain a lasting competitive edge. Below are key differentiators that XaaS offer businesses looking for change:
- Cost Control - Companies see substantial cost savings through increased business agility and cost flexibility inherent in cloud services, and from continued lower infrastructure prices.
- Faster Service & Hardware Access - procurement, processing, and access to hardware & services quickly – in days or weeks versus months.
- Modular Design - enables companies to mobilize and then demobilize rapidly when necessary.
- Scalable Model - companies can ramp up and down to match actual business volume needs; and standardized with uniform processes and delivery. The multi-client, multi-tenant model provides repeatability.
- Consumption-Based - companies pay based on what they use rather than committing to functionality and capabilities that may or may not be needed.
- Outcome-Oriented - providers work as part of a relationship in which both buyer and provider are committed to specified business outcomes.
- Vendor-Agnostic - companies benefit from the knowledge and experience of multiple providers so they can assemble a combination of solutions appropriate to the desired business and performance outcomes. Competition ensures providers are committed to innovations in business processes, infrastructure, and applications. Services provided are always up to date, and buyers have continuous access to innovation, scale, and in-depth expertise.
- Overall Cost Reduction - significantly lower the total cost of ownership and buyers gain access to continuously updated software platforms rather than implementing them from scratch.
Begin Your Digital Transformation Journey with As a Service
It’s easy (and tempting) to jump on every new thing that comes along, ultimately creating a tangle of technology or business services that don’t work well together and potentially create more inefficiencies and problems than they were meant to solve.
While implementing XaaS solutions does shift many aspects of your IT infrastructure, it doesn't mean that IT management is no longer required. These solutions still need to be properly configured, monitored, and managed.
Our recommendation to any business looking to adopt more XaaS services is to work with a reputable, experienced IT provider to create a comprehensive strategy. Start with understanding what the real business need is, then work with the vendor to ensure the technology plan meets your business needs. ImageNet Consulting is a leader in XaaS, Managed IT, and technology, backed by service experts and consultants who will understand your business needs and build a custom plan based on your unique IT struggles.
As more and more industries understand that to serve their customers better and compete effectively, they are realizing they must adopt an XaaS mindset. Businesses need to contemplate and challenge the way they are doing things across many aspects of their organizations, especially if they are new to services.
ImageNet’s Vice President of Managed IT Services, Juan Fernandez, an enterprise technology leader and visionary, wrote an insightful quote in which he said that the winners of the coming digital revolution must focus on, “providing products and services that everyone can afford, and add so much value that they can’t afford not to.”
ImageNet is leading the way with XaaS and other As a Service offerings. Talk to one of our XaaS experts today and get started with your customized solution!