SaaS - Software as a service concept with abstract high-speed technology POV motion blur

It has been more than 20 years now since SaaS (Software as a Service) was introduced and quickly embraced. It made so much sense for companies to subscribe to the Software they needed instead of owning it outright and supporting it themselves. SaaS was a game-changer that heralded a new and different business model.

Still, I do not think that at the time, anyone could have imagined the extent to which this paradigm shift would carry through into the 21sr century.

What trickled in next?

The two (2) most popular “as a service” options that followed quickly on the heels of SaaS were IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service). Briefly:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is an instant computing infrastructure, provisioned and managed over the internet. IaaS quickly scales up and down with demand, letting you pay only for what you use. It helps you avoid the expense and complexity of buying and managing your own physical servers and other data center infrastructure. Each resource is offered as a separate service component, and you only need to “rent” a particular one for as long as you need it.
  • Platform as a service(PaaS) is a category of cloud computing services that provides a platform that allows customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app. PaaS can improve the speed of developing an app and allow its user to focus on the application itself. The user can choose to maintain the Software or have the vendor maintain it.

The business advantages of the “as a Service” model can be summarized as follows:

  • Eliminates capital expense and reduces on ongoing cost
  • Improves business continuity and disaster recovery
  • Allows for more rapid innovation
  • Respond more quickly to shifting business conditions
  • Focus on your core business
  • Increase stability, reliability, and supportability
  • Improved security

These advantages are true for the three (3) “as a Service” options mentioned above – SaaS. IaaS and PaaS – as well as all of the “as a Service” products we will explore briefly below.

And then came the tsunami…

It did not take long for the business world to realize that if companies were embracing SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS, why would they not also want HaaS (Hardware as a Service) or DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service), or SECaaS (Security as a Service)?

Suddenly, the flood gates opened, and a veritable tsunami of “as a Service” models became hugely popular. It was then hard to remember a time when we used to own these products and services as opposed to renting or subscribing to them.

The paradigm shift to XaaS

XaaS stands for Anything and Everything as a Service. If you do not believe that just about everything in our world today is available “as a Service,” name a letter of the alphabet, and I will give you an “as a Service” offering that starts with that letter. Honestly, “…aaS” is that pervasive. To show you what I mean, I have developed a long list. But make no mistake, even this list (which begins with the ones we already mentioned) is incomplete:

SaaS – Software as a Service
IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
PaaS – Platform as a Service
HaaS – Hardware as a Service
SECaaS – Security as a Service
DRaaS – Disaster Recovery as a Service
DaaS – Desktop as a Service AND Device as a Service
AaaS – Data Analytics as a Service
CaaS – Compliance as a Service
TaaS – Transportation as a Service (think Uber)
SOCaaS – Security Operation Center as a Service
UCaaS – Unified Communications as a Service
VSaaS – Surveillance as a Service
FaaS – Function as a Service
WAFaas – Web Application Firewall as a Service
ACaaS – Access Control as a Service
DBaaS – Database as a Service
POSaaS – Point of Sale Hardware and Software as a Service
MaaS – Malware as a Service AND Monitoring as a Service
NaaS – Network as a Service
StaaS – Storage as a Service
ITaaS – IT as a Service
BPMaaS – Business Process Management as a Service
RaaS – Ransomware as a Service

I do not know about you, but this list is mind-boggling. Be that as it may, the list is a testament to how much has changed since SaaS was born.

We could dive into any of the above “aaS” offerings, but the one that immediately caught my attention was DaaS. When I first heard about Device as a Service (DaaS), my first thought was: It is about time! I could not believe that in the years since SaaS emerged, no one had thought to develop a program that combined Software as a Service with Device as a Service. After all, your Software runs on a device.

So let us take a good look at DaaS.

DaaS: The Hardware Revolution

A device as a Service (DaaS) has been heralded as a hardware revolution, which of course, it is. It is part of the new “aaS” business model and an innovative way to acquire desktops, laptops, tablets, notebooks, and smartphones. It is a complete hardware, software, and services solution.

Not only does DaaS mitigate your device costs, but it also moves your cost outlay from a capital expenditure to an operating expenditure. (Your CFO will love that!)

Instead of buying your end-user devices, DaaS lets you take out a subscription that includes customizing the hardware with the Software you require. Your subscription bundle also comes with services such as maintenance, support, and asset management—all at a predictable monthly fee.

Standard DaaS Services include:

  • Equipment: hardware and maintenance
  • Configuration: custom desktop images and encryption
  • Deployment: installation and data migration
  • Support: phone/onsite, remote management, patching
  • Asset Management: flexibility to scale the number of devices up-and-down
  • User Productivity: web and email monitoring, antivirus, Office 365
  • Asset Recovery: removal of old assets and secure data erasure

DaaS benefits include:

  • Cost Management: shift IT budget to manageable OpEx cash flow over a planned period of time
  • Productivity: give users access to the latest technology and avoid productivity delays of aged devices
  • Mobility: allow users to be more mobile and productive by providing their choice of devices
  • IT: outsource costly IT functions or completely eliminate the entire PC support lifecycle

As business models change and product offerings evolve, decision-makers have recognized how Device as a Service benefits their organizations. The monthly consumption model offers the cost-savings and flexibility that organizations simply cannot find with traditional PC purchasing models.

By leveraging DaaS, you no longer compromise productivity—the OpEx approach deprioritizes your IT investment. You can now run your businesses at optimal levels with the confidence that you are efficiently allocating your limited investment dollars.

Strategic Systems Group (SSG) and the Journey to XaaS

Founded in 1991, Strategic Systems Group (SSG) watched the popularity of SaaS grow during the early 1990s until it exploded at the end of that decade and ultimately spawned an “aaS” business model paradigm shift. We watched our ERP clients adopt SaaS, then IaaS, then PaaS, and then a wide variety of the XaaS options listed above. If you have questions about XaaS, please contact SSG at (310) 539-4645 or via our contact form today!

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