Everything as a Service, also known as XaaS, sounds pretty posh, right? Why do the work yourself when you can pay someone else to take care of it for you? Okay, maybe that’s not the best description of what XaaS has to offer, but it’s actually not that far off, either.
For those who haven’t yet taken the plunge—why not? Sure, the “as a Service” revolution has had its fair share of snake oil tactics, but by and large, pushing as many aspects of IT into the managed cloud as possible is often worth it. There’s a reason Deloitte University Press predicted XaaS will soon upend business models and redefine what it means to modernise IT. It’s time to start paying attention today.
Know the variety of XaaS types out there
Maybe you just don’t know what “as a Service” models are out there and what they look like. In that case, here’s a quick rundown of just how extensive this revolution is:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Just what it sounds like, IaaS takes the head-scratching out of hardware management. Infrastructure is provisioned with the click of a mouse instead of the twist of a screwdriver.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): Whereas IaaS covers your hardware bases, PaaS takes aim at software. Specifically, it automates the deployment and management of software by streamlining all the hardware and operating system configuration associated with development.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): Rounding out the big three, SaaS boils down to renting software. Admittedly, that description may distil things a bit too much, but in simple terms, the hardware, underlying configuration, and client-facing application are managed in the cloud. All you see is that beautiful login screen on your device.
- Device as a Service (DaaS): A relative newcomer to the scene, DaaS is essentially a spyglass into the management of your undoubtedly growing device fleet. This service keeps tabs on usage, performance, and a myriad of other metrics to help you know exactly when and where to invest resources into device upgrades.
Clearly, everything from marketing to HR can be—and has been—transformed into a service-based offering. When it comes to IT, another great example of the usefulness of this transformation lies in everyone’s favourite piece of office infrastructure: the printer.
Hands-free everything—from printing to cloud services
Printers have become indispensable tools in today’s office, yet they’ve somehow become an afterthought when it comes to IT security. Few people get excited about managing the security, efficiency, and operations of an entire fleet of printers because it can prove needlessly complicated. As a result, too many IT professionals turn a blind eye to the whole ordeal outside of fixing the occasional paper jam. This opens up your fleet to security holes and costly inefficiency.
Print management isn’t something you want to ignore—especially when you consider that document production constitutes its fair share of your operating budget. In a sense, though, Everything as a Service lets you do just that. When it comes to XaaS in printing, managed print services (MPS) takes centre stage. MPS is the Chewbacca to your Han Solo: always there, analysing infrastructure, optimising efficiency, and keeping you safe. Better yet, it’ll even help you automate slow, paper-based processes to cut down on those operating costs. And that’s what MPS and, to a larger extent, XaaS is all about—simplifying IT through automated cloud services.
If you haven’t implemented Everything as a Service yet, don’t worry. It’s never too late to take a good, long look at everything in your domain and think about what life could be like if it were offered “as a Service.”