You have probably noticed that you can order anything over the internet, be it digital services, products, or tools. You can access these offerings virtually or have them delivered upon request, thus eliminating the need to go to physical stores or enterprises to make purchases.
The XaaS model is used to describe this convenient option that we currently enjoy.
What is XaaS?
XaaS is an acronym for ‘anything as a service’ or ‘everything as a service.’ This term collectively describes the wide range of products, tools, and technologies that users can access from vendors over the internet upon request instead of obtaining them on-site in physical format.
The ‘as a service’ (aaS) model was sparked off by the cloud computing models, majorly the Software as a service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). These models made it possible to provide ready-made software, a platform for software development and computing infrastructure, over the internet.
Soon enough, the same could be done for other digital services, such as data and security. Currently, the as-a-service model has evolved. It has practically been deployed for many other services and products, including non-digital ones, hence the term anything as a service.
What are the benefits of XaaS?
Anything as a service has numerous advantages for the users, such as those explained below.
Companies no longer have to purchase hardware, software, or infrastructure to install in their offices, but can instead access such services virtually or use third-party equipment. Therefore, what was once capital expenditure can now be shifted to operational expenses, ensuring the business’s survival. Thanks to the XaaS model, companies that would initially require a large capital outlay to set up on-premise technology can now rely on outside service, thus saving costs in equipment, space, power, cooling, and staff training.
Employees get to focus on core competencies
When a company procures new technology, employees often have to undergo training to use the latest apps or programs. This undertaking can distract the employees from fulfilling what they were employed to do as they have to juggle between meeting their quotas and catching up with the new changes. Outsourcing the IT team gives employees the chance to focus on the core business. Business owners can also rest easy knowing that professionals are handling the company’s technology solutions on the other end.
XaaS, more precisely the desktop as a service model, provides access to unlimited computing capabilities, including processing power and storage space, without having to incur downtime or costs associated with additional hardware and software purchases.
Faster adoption of new technologies and applications
Companies often avoid adopting new technology, especially if it is expensive to buy on site. The costs of orienting employees to this new development or employing full-time specialists can also scare businesses. Fortunately, it’s relatively cheaper to access new tools and technologies over the internet, meaning businesses can readily take up new technology without worrying about associated challenges. XaaS tools also guide one through the inner workings of such tools, and at times one does not even need to be an expert, as there are people on the other end to help with that.
Companies benefit from timely software updates and information on emerging technologies that could better serve the organization. One also does not have to worry about carrying out maintenance as professionals support and maintain the company’s infrastructure to ensure everything is in good working order.
Firms can level up or down, change subscriptions or packages and bring in new apps, all depending on the market needs and changes in the economic environment.
Ease of backup and recovery
Firms using a XaaS model need not worry about losing data as it is constantly backed up and protected.
Disadvantages of XaaS
For all its convenience, XaaS also has many drawbacks that can scare off potential users if not addressed. They include:
Lack of much-needed customization: most XaaS models come as standard models that do not allow much customization.
The user is too reliant on the XaaS provider: The user’s product use is tied to the provider. Therefore, the user is likely to experience downtime if the provider’s servers go down. Similarly, the user will be forced to adjust their operations if the provider goes out of business, gets acquired, discontinues a particular service, or alters certain features.
Difficulties in detecting problems: XaaS models relieve employees of some of the associated tasks, making it difficult to troubleshoot an issue. Therefore, ensuring that the employees have operational knowledge can prevent such an occurrence.
Latency and bandwidth issues: These may result from multiple end users’ simultaneous access to XaaS tools.
There are numerous examples of anything as a service model, with SaaS, PaaS, and XaaS being the earliest forms of XaaS in Cloud computing. Others that have gained popularity over the years include:
Desktop as a Service (DaaS)
Vendors deliver desktops and apps required for use. The end-user can thus utilize the computing capabilities of a third-party server while working on their personal computer. The provider also oversees the storage, securing, and backing up of user data.
Health as a service (HaaS)
Access to patients’ electronic medical records and hospital information systems now means doctors can carry out online consultations and health monitoring of patients. You can also have medicine delivered to their doorstep and lab samples collected from their homes, and the results returned when ready.
Communication as a Service (CaaS)
This entails using communication solutions such as video conferencing applications, voice over Ip, and instant messaging facilitated or hosted in the vendor’s cloud. Companies can choose the communication channel that best suits their needs and pay for usage only.
Transportation as a service (TaaS)
Easily the most relatable example of XaaS for most people, users can now request a taxi ride on platforms such as Uber. Other apps connected with transport include carsharing, which enables you to rent a car and drive to any destination. TaaS models are ecologically friendly as they substitute private car ownership, thus helping reduce the number of vehicles on our roads.
Monitoring as a service (MaaS)
Organizations can have another party monitor their organizational infrastructure ranging from operating systems, servers, databases, networking, and storage devices.
The XaaS is a conceptual model that entails the provision of all manner of products and services over networks. The model has grown over time to encompass limitless offerings courtesy of its ability to reduce costs for users. While users are quickly taking to the XaaS model, addressing the underlying drawbacks that could easily take away from the potential benefits is essential.
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