“As a service” – in our digital age, pretty much anything and everything can come with those three words as a suffix, which is exactly why we have the term XaaS: the mysterious “X”-as-a-service!
But “everything” is the broadest of definitions, so here are 10 of the most important “aaS” offerings:
One of the three main cloud computing services, IaaS allows you to hire basic computing infrastructure – such as servers, firewalls and data centers – from a cloud-computing service provider.
The main appeal is the ease of scalability – you only pay for what you need, for as long as you need it.
Second of the three main cloud services, PaaS takes the offerings of IaaS and goes one step further, providing services such as operating systems, development tools and database management.
The big advantage is allowing your business to grow without necessarily having to hire people with new IT skill sets – they’re provided for you.
Third of the cloud services, SaaS incorporates the services of PaaS and IaaS and adds the cherry on top: hosted applications. A common example is email services, which are stored on your service provider’s network, but still host all your information and generally give you – and often your customers – access to top-notch online software.
In the age of big data, having a reliable database is critical for business. And a reliable database isn’t just one with minimal downtime – it must be easy to access and navigate.
DBaaS provides offsite storage for your data that’s simple to use and generally far cheaper than investing in equipment and infrastructure required.
A form of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), DaaS delivers the full desktop suite to your device without having to individually purchase and install the suite of software and apps that most businesses require.
The big advantages include giving employees and contractors access from anywhere in the world, as well as built-in security and updates.
Communication is obviously critical in any business and is in a constant state of evolution – think email, instant messaging (IM), videoconferencing, your standard phone call, as well as voice over IP (VoIP).
With the range of tools always progressing, CaaS ensures you have both the software and hardware to stay at the cutting edge of communication.
Similar to your traditional rental agreement, HaaS sees a business lease their hardware rather than purchase it, however it generally also comes with a guarantee from the vendor to maintain and update the hardware throughout the length of the agreement.
It can also be used remotely – for example, using storage hardware via the cloud.
Rather than having your IT department install, update and maintain your IT security – including antivirus software, firewalls and spam filters – SECaaS sees the full range of modern security provided over the web.
This means your security is overseen by a dedicated team, ensuring it is always up to date and keeping you and your precious data safe.
Healthcare is in the throes of a revolution, as mobile and teleconferencing tools make “seeing” a medical professional more convenient and less time-consuming.
Seen as a large part of the future of healthcare, HaaS is set to slash waiting times, as less urgent cases are seen to remotely – or even by a chatbot.
The rise of rideshare platforms such as Uber, as well as the impending boom of autonomous vehicles, are fueling the rise of TaaS (although, as electric cars become more common, actual fuel is set to be a small part of the service).
It is anticipated that this will result in more users but far fewer vehicles on the road, as cars parked and sitting idle for hours at a time becomes a thing of the past.
The on-demand economy has seen users’ patience levels drop to an all-time low, meaning fast, reliable services delivered over the internet in real-time is no longer the future – it’s the present.
With that being the case, a firm understanding of the power and potential offered by XaaS is central to any business.
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