As acronyms go, ‘as a service’ (aaS) has to be the best one the IT industry has ever come up with. At the last count, we had 16 ‘aaS’ versions on our list.
Of all of them, it’s XaaS – ‘everything’ or ‘anything’ as a service – that best shows how invasive cloud computing has become.
If you define X as ‘everything’, it doesn’t mean, of course, that you have to put everything in the cloud. But it does mean that if there is anything you identify as suitable, there will be a vendor out there who can host it for you.
Competition among vendors is driving down pricing, according to PwC’s Strategy & Consulting arm, which notes that this is prompting more companies to switch to XaaS-style models. PWC also identifies the inherent flexibility to take advantage of new technologies as a trigger.
Most significantly, perhaps, is PWC’s assertion that “with a XaaS model, customers are not burdened by significant upgrade costs and can more accurately estimate the total cost of ownership of software and infrastructure.”
This shift from long-term capital investment with periodic upgrades to what is, in effect, a subscription service can be very attractive. It also enables IT departments focus instead on strategic planning and operations.