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What Is XaaS?

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Last editedSept 20212 min read

Everyone’s heard of SaaS, and if you’re involved in the world of IT or enterprise more generally, you’ve probably also heard of IaaS and PaaS as well. But what about XaaS? We’ll explore everything you need to know about XaaS and what it may mean for you and your business with our helpful guide. First up, what is XaaS anyway? Let’s find out.

Understanding XaaS

XaaS means “anything-as-a-service” (although in some cases, it’s referred to as “everything-as-a-service”, but the meaning remains the same). Essentially, XaaS is a catch-all term for a range of utility-based offerings. It represents the wide variety of applications and services that customers may now be able to access on demand via the cloud. So, where SaaS (software-as-a-service) was all about the delivery of on-demand software that users could license on a subscription basis, XaaS simply extends that model to any IT function (or indeed, any business function) that could be transformed into a service.

XaaS examples

There are many different XaaS examples, with some of the most prominent companies in the world falling into this category. Think about Uber (transport-as-a-service) or AWS (database-as-a-service). The subscription business model is becoming increasingly popular throughout more traditional industries, meaning that “as-a-service” doesn’t just apply to cutting-edge IT functions anymore, but utilities more generally. In the future, don’t be surprised to see brands in non-tech industries opting for a XaaS business model in an effort to solidify their place in a mobile-first, post-cloud world.

Pros and cons of XaaS

There are many potential benefits associated with XaaS. Firstly, it can cut costs and simplify IT deployments, as businesses can get rid of their in-house IT infrastructure and the costs that come along with it. This means lower physical overheads, as well as the ability to transition your IT team to work on more important, value-add projects. Another important benefit of XaaS is the fact that it gives businesses the opportunity to access new technologies and scale their infrastructure rapidly whenever they need to, fostering innovation. This type of flexibility and agility cannot be underestimated, and it’s one of the key reasons why XaaS is becoming such a prominent option for businesses.

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits of XaaS that businesses can take advantage of. However, there are a couple of disadvantages that it’s important to consider. If a provider goes out of business, discontinues its services, or gets acquired by another company, it can have a profound effect on their XaaS users. It’s also important to remember that performance issues, including data storage, retrieval times, bandwidth, latency, and so on, can affect XaaS businesses as they become more popular. Downtime is another potential issue, while some businesses will simply want more visibility into their IT infrastructure than XaaS companies are willing to provide.

The future of XaaS

As it stands, the XaaS market size is significant, and it’s expected to grow at a CAGR of 25.5% from 2021 to 2026. In the future, the possibilities of combining global access to high-bandwidth internet with cloud computing could lead to substantial growth in the XaaS space. Although compliance, security, and governance are a concern, the increasing willingness of XaaS providers to address these issues means that we can expect to see a broader range of business functions shifted to the cloud as the 2020s draw on.

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