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What is XaaS (Anything as a Service)? 5 Benefits & Examples of XaaS

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We live in a time where you can access everything and anything as a service. Society has largely ditched the perception that ownership is always the better option. More people are choosing to lease rather than own cars, while subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have boomed. Think about it- when was the last time you actually bought an actual DVD? 

This growing preference to pay-as-you-go for commodities is especially prominent when it comes to technology. Both individuals and businesses have fast realised that with the ownership of IT comes a lot of other costs associated with maintenance, security and more. 

What is Anything as a Service? 

In the IT industry, Anything as a Service (XaaS) broadly describes the never-ending category of services related to cloud computing. But this “as a service” model is nothing new. It’s a subscription-style approach that has steadily gained popularity for years, as a more affordable way to access and pay for cloud services, software and even hardware. 

The rise of XaaS was a seemingly natural transition as organisations increasingly favoured the flexibility, lower investment and reduced IT management compared to traditional IT procurement and ownership. However, the pandemic has been key in accelerating the demand to embracing the XaaS model. From Device as a Service (DaaS) schemes to Network as a Service (NaaS), procuring your IT infrastructure has never been so simple. 

The history of Anything as a Service – from SaaS to XaaS 

While the as a service model has grown in popularity over the past 10 or 15 years, it actually dates back to the 1960s. Computers were expensive (and quite frankly huge in size) in the 60s. Many organisations simply couldn’t afford to invest in a computer. So the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry was born. “Time-sharing” is what it was known as back in the day.  

Mainframe computers were connected to “dumb” terminals (keyboards and monitors without CPUs). The dumb terminals shared the mainframe software, data and applications. This enabled more organisations including SMBs, public sector organisations and educational institutions to access computer systems. As computing systems became more affordable, traditional procurement processes ensued, with many opting the typical route of buying and owning hardware and software. 

The term SaaS emerged much later towards the end of the 1990s, after the internet and computing had advanced. The SaaS approach continued to navigate teething problems and only really matured in the mid to late 2000s. Now, it is a favoured approach offering greater flexibility, affordability and security as opposed to traditional purchasing and ownership. 

In this day and age, SaaS is often listed alongside IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and even more. The list of “as a service” offerings is now so fast, that the transition to Everything as a Service or Anything as a Service (XaaS) was inevitable. XaaS comes from the fact that pretty much anything in the IT environment can be delivered as a service. 

The benefits of the XaaS model 

So why is the Anything as a Service model so popular?. By moving to a subscription-based approach, your remove the time and resource costs associated with maintenance, monitoring, upgrades and more. XaaS simplifies the entire IT lifecycle and means you only pay for what you actually use. This means less resources wasted and more value derived from your services. 

More affordable and cost-effective 

The Anything as a Service approach removes the need for higher upfront investments and costs. You’ll usually have to pay for the service monthly, based upon the usage rates. You pay for you need and can factor costs in your budget, paying over a set period of time or on a rolling monthly basis. 

Easier to access higher quality platforms and services 

As you are not paying to own only to use, even smaller businesses can access traditionally enterprise-class cloud IT. The simple monthly billing and costs spread over time do two things. One being removing the barrier to entry for leading platforms that once were too expensive for SMBs. 

Flexibility, scalability and integration 

As your business grows, you need solutions that evolve and adapt with you. With Anything as a Service, it’s easier to scale and adapt your infrastructure on an as a service basis. This is because the changes are managed by your cloud provider. Solutions that stay in cloud environments have far greater ability to scale than those bound by traditional on-premises infrastructure.They are also better designed to merge with a broader and more modern XaaS offerings. 

Always upgraded 

As a service offerings hosted in the cloud benefit from ongoing feature updates and upgrades that benefit functionality, security and performance. These are often automatic and delivered with no disruption to operations of end users. 

Reduce the burden on your IT teams 

When you access solutions on an XaaS basis, you reduce the pressure on your IT teams and other technical staff. Your provider will do the overall management of your solutions. You also benefit from the support of a dedicated or specialist team. 

Man typing on laptop. What is anything as a service.

What is an example of an offering? 

XaaS is almost never-ending, with solutions to support almost every aspect of your infrastructure. This includes: 

If Anything as a service interests you, Get in touch with the 848 team today, Anything as a Service. We are here to help you adopt an affordable and efficient IT landscape that delivers value and evolves with you.