'Anything as a service' - what does it mean?

'Anything as a service' - what does it mean?

25 June 2020 By Charlie Holland and Robyn Lamport-Rann - ICT Procurement Services at YPO

cloud services and technology

The world of technology and all of its many acronyms can be a confusing place for us all, especially with the pace that technology is evolving and the list of abbreviations that is ever expanding.
One of the latest is ‘XaaS’ which stands for ‘Anything as a Service’, but what does it actually mean?

What is it?

Anything as a service is literally what it says on the tin.

With the availability of cloud computing and technology, we can now deliver to users most ICT services over the internet (or similar networks) by a supplier, through a subscription based model or service level agreement, allowing you to pay for the functionality of the product without having to physically buy it.

One of the most commonly available is ‘SaaS’- ‘Software as a Service’, which you are probably already using without even realising. Think of when you play your music through Spotify, or watch films on Netflix, you are paying a provider to use the software without physically owning a CD or a DVD.

As our homes and personal lives turn smarter and subscription services become wider available, should our work space follow suit?

What services are available?

XaaS may seem daunting at first, but actually it’s quite easy to understand when you recognise it’s just a term to identify services and applications that users can access via the internet, on request.

Think of all the typical products, tools and technology that you currently buy in which you could save costs and resources by purchasing ‘as a service’. 

Here’s just a small example of some of these service models available:

  • SaaS – Software as a Service
  • HaaS – Hardware as a Service
  • DaaS – Desktop as a Service
  • PaaS – Platform as a Service
  • IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
  • CaaS – Communication as a Service

What are the advantages?

As a service models are expanding rapidly due to the benefits that they can provide organisations, here are just three benefits it can bring:

1. It decreases capital

Procuring technology can take up high investment, upfront payment and much needed storage space for the likes of large equipment. Access to technology no longer requires this initial outlay, instead users can simply subscribe to the service that they need via payment terms suitable to their organisation and pay only for what they use/require, saving time and money.

2. Access to high quality services

The supplier will be responsible for providing the latest updates, emerging technologies, support and maintenance via their professionals, ensuring a high quality of service. These costs will be included within your subscription, meaning you don’t need to constantly fork out for software upgrades and always have access to the newest and up to date products and services.

3. Scalability

The great thing about such services (XaaS) is that it can be scaled to anyone’s needs, no matter how large or small the requirement. Organisations can quickly and seamlessly scale their process up/down depending on requirements, allowing them to be flexible and transition faster and easier.

Things to consider

It’s important to understand which service model fits your needs and the outcomes you are looking to achieve:

  • Some areas you may wish to consider include control - how much of this would you like to remain inhouse, or pass over to the supplier?
  • Your connectivity requirement is also a key feature, have you got the internet capacity and capabilities to run these additional services?
  • It’s also important to consider data security, what happens if your internal service fails, such as how you access and limit loss to software or data?
If you have any questions about XaaS or would like to find out more, please contact the ICT team
Categories: ICT , Procurement

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