What is XaaS (and How Can it Help Businesses Embrace Uncertainty)?


Hitachi VantaraInspire the Next

Thursday, March 31, 2022

The transformation of almost everything to the service model benefits businesses with repeatable income and clients through affordable tools or products for their operations.

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What is XaaS (and How Can it Help Businesses Embrace Uncertainty)?
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Almost every day, some element for businesses or consumers that was once a high-ticket item becomes a low-cost service.

For a simple example of the as-a-service economy, consider equipping a new office. At the start of this century, that would have involved purchasing expensive new computers and networking systems for all staff, with costly operating systems licenses and high-price productivity applications.

Today, a business can go to a store and pick up a stack of generic laptops and WiFi network routers. They can then sign up to Google Cloud or Microsoft Office 365 and be up and working in a matter of hours, for a fraction of the traditional cost.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, even the most technology-averse organizations found themselves adopting cloud services and business tools to help keep on top of their operations as most employees started working remotely.

For most, this experience did not turn out to be scary or chaotic. Instead, people mastered the new tools at their disposal and got on with work, just like normal. It helped many businesses and workers appreciate the benefit of remote working, the value of everything as a service (XaaS), and the business benefits it delivers.

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XaaS, everywhere

There are three key benefits to the XaaS model, helping organizations of any size to improve their effectiveness and drive improved business outcomes, including:

1. Reducing costs and improving budgeting

All businesses keep a tight focus on cost, and reducing an IT bill from a huge investment to a manageable monthly bill is an easy win for most, as it helps make budgets more transparent and manageable. Removing sunken capital and freeing up space within the data center via XaaS can also aid innovation and fuel digital transformation.

2. Improving flexibility and scalability

Most XaaS contracts can scale flexibly as users and new features are added, or if the company is winding down use of an application. Most XaaS products have basic, professional, and enterprise (or similar) tiers, allowing businesses to pick the package and tools they need, with the ability to adopt new features when they need them.

3. Adding useful features and further services

In the digital business sphere, we see XaaS products adding artificial intelligence services, which some businesses might want to adopt early to deliver new benefits, while others will wait until they see a clear use case.

XaaS continues to expand, with new concepts like “function as a service” (FaaS) or business process management (BPMaaS) all helping transform common corporate concepts into streamlined deliverables. XaaS can be deployed on premises, in the cloud or on hybrid clouds, giving enterprises the flexibility they need and supporting regulatory or security requirements.

Anything that gets rid of expensive hardware (which few modern businesses need) and turns monolithic software into its always up-to-date and always evolving equivalent has huge benefits, which is why XaaS is growing in popularity so quickly.

XaaS drives a changing world

In a fast-changing economy and world, XaaS allows companies to respond faster to the many changes they face. As demonstrated by COVID-19, Brexit in the U.K., supply chain disruptions globally, and product or market evolution among industries, more than ever businesses need to be able to adapt and predict what is coming their way.

As hybrid working becomes the norm, XaaS supports the changing employment and operational landscape, all boosted by the growing dominance of cloud. The reduction in legacy IT for established businesses enables them to spend more on operations, and the high-growth rate of newer companies who can invest more in business-critical systems rather than managing IT hardware and complex services helps drive that growth.

Forrester predicted in its “Accelerating out of the Crisis” report that 2021 would be “the year companies double down on technology-fueled experiences, operations, products, and ecosystems. It is likely that results will show growth outpaced those predictions, and 2022 will continue the trend with XaaS supporting business strategy, operations, and back office decision making.

Embracing XaaS in an uncertain world

When businesses were working during COVID-19, many took time to see how cloud and XaaS could benefit their operations. Some services were driven by necessity like collaboration and communication tools, while others helped boost productivity or solved process bottlenecks.

Now companies can take a longer, more considered look at the weaknesses in their operations and see where XaaS can step in. From improving teamwork to driving growth, established businesses can replace traditional networks or services like disaster recovery with their XaaS equivalents, network as a service (NaaS) and data as a service (DaaS).

To realize the benefits, businesses need to establish how standard their current operations are, how easy it will be to drop a XaaS solution in, and how to work around any kinks such as non-standard data or links to third-party products.

Adopters need to ensure their connectivity is reliable enough if adopting common cloud solutions, and that all their XaaS services are secure against the threats to any business or service from cyber threats.

Finally, companies need to ensure they choose the right XaaS services for their businesses, with plenty of competitors out there touting for clients. At Hitachi Vantara, we can help ensure delivery of a balanced solution for your company that will meet its future needs and supports the needs of users, with clear adoption and usage guidelines and backup and recovery facilities.

Put those elements together and any business can use XaaS to deliver business boosting benefits, help it grow and ride the uncertain waves of the future.

Further reading

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Hitachi Vantara, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., guides our customers from what’s now to what’s next by solving their digital challenges. Working alongside each customer, we apply our unmatched industrial and digital capabilities to their data and applications to benefit both business and society. More than 80% of the Fortune 100 trust Hitachi Vantara to help them develop new revenue streams, unlock competitive advantages, lower costs, enhance customer experiences, and deliver social and environmental value.


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