Presented by iOCO

XaaS – The complete cloud model

In today’s customer-centric world, businesses can’t afford to take months or even weeks to deliver. Every moment a company is unable to meet customer requirements is a moment that their competitors can use to their advantage.

This is one of the reasons the cloud has become the de facto operating model for organisations of all sizes. The cloud’s flexible consumption models enable companies to remain agile while choosing the computing services that work best for them, regardless of their size.

Whether they use hyperscale solutions like AWS, private clouds in shared environments like those built in partnership between iOCO, VMWare and Teraco, or a combination of these, businesses have become dependent on services on demand to keep their competitive edge.

The benefits of the subscription service model have given rise to the everything-as-a-service (XaaS) evolution.

The demand for Software-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service solutions has evolved into what is fast becoming an essential business requirement: XaaS for a company’s own services as well as incorporating outside services to improve internal processes.

The numbers don’t lie

Adopting the XaaS approach allows organisations to reduce their operating expenses, work with more predictable costs and minimise the effort they need to put in to keep meeting customer needs.

According to Deloitte, 75% of businesses believe XaaS helps them introduce new solutions faster and more easily. 70% also say it helps them use tools that would have been too expensive in the past.

In fact, companies that don’t incorporate XaaS may risk trailing behind the competition.

39% of companies have reported that increased XaaS adoption helps them keep pace with their competitors, while 28% believe their use of flexible consumption models is giving them a sizable lead.

It’s no surprise, then, that 80% of XaaS adopters say that the pandemic has accelerated their shift from traditional IT to XaaS. According to a Spiceworks’ survey, over the past few years, the top drivers for workload migration to an as-a-Service model were:

  • Providing access to data anywhere (42%)
  • Enhancing disaster recovery capabilities (38%)
  • Enabling better flexibility/scalability (37%)
  • Reducing the support burden on IT staff
  • Reducing capital expenditure (28%)
  • Increasing storage capacity (26%)
  • Improving data security (26%)

In light of these figures, we can expect even more non-traditional solutions to be offered as services.

We are already seeing things like mobility as a service, security as a service and disaster recovery as a service become increasingly popular, and solutions like IoT-as-a-service will not be far behind.

Mindset shift

Making a transition to XaaS requires more than just figuring out the logistics: It also requires a mindset shift. Moving to the cloud creates a ripple across the organisation, from changing the way the company thinks about design, to how it deals with its data, to operations, to the go-to-market strategy.

This strategy relies on several technology enhancements such as network-as-a-service offerings, ensuring the business has operational agility, customisation of network services, security hardening and new consumption models that will support the challenging and demanding multicloud environments with appropriate hyperscale frameworks for a company’s XaaS.

For those considering a move to as-a-service models, there are several key imperatives to keep in mind, including:

  • Use data insights and purpose-built platforms to help guide your XaaS transition: Jump-start your XaaS journey by partnering with purpose-built platforms that can accelerate your journey and enable you to easily focus on achieving your business outcomes with your existing systems and connected devices.
  • Anticipate that the new model will create some unexpected changes within your organisation: While the XaaS model will impact many parts of your business, it’s also an opportunity to reinvent and reintroduce your offerings.
  • Be prepared to continuously adjust your plans based on market dynamics and technology trends: In addition to unforeseen changes, your customers will also likely have thoughts about your new offerings and will need consistent communication. Be ready to factor design thinking into your overall product or solution lifecycle.

As more and more companies embrace digital transformation, XaaS offerings can help CIOs and IT leaders prioritise productivity gains and new growth opportunities while also creating greater cohesion between IT and business units.

The past few years have taught us that the only constant in life really is change, but by using XaaS solutions that give them the flexibility to respond to unpredictable market dynamics, companies can become more resilient, more competitive, and more innovative.

By Paul Spagnoletti, Business Unit Executive: Cloud and Security South Africa

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XaaS – The complete cloud model