According to Gartner, governments will largely turn towards modern technological solutions in the next two years. Of these, 80% of all solutions would be on XaaS. This is interesting, considering that the public sector has traditionally been seen as reluctant to adopt newer technologies.
The current proliferation of XaaS resembles the rise of cloud computing. Like the evolution of the cloud, the implementation of XaaS promises a paradigm shift to an all-inclusive cloud service that could answer all the functional needs of enterprises.
Much of this growth can be attributed to the digitalization that soared during the pandemic. Technology providers, in the wake of remote working and budgetary constraints, are simplifying the working environment and expanding the horizon to address many functional requirements on the cloud. Although the concept of XaaS is still in its nascency, it has already seen many adaptations and upgrades via key technology providers. Back in May 2020, when Technology Service Industry Association (TSIA) surveyed enterprises providing subscription-based services, it was revealed that almost every enterprise experienced a surge in its XaaS-based offerings.
As of 2021, IMARC reports that the global XaaS market will keep advancing at a healthy CAGR of 25.5%. It is expected the market will reach $72 billion by 2027.
It is no surprise that XaaS has entered the enterprise data storage sector too. To some extent, it moves the storage sector towards a more consistent on-demand service model. But before getting into that, let’s understand the breadth and scope of XaaS.
What is XaaS?
XaaS, or Anything/Everything as a Service, is defined as the on-demand provision of resources to enterprises via technology providers, who bring in a range of flexible data storage and processing solutions. This effectively translates to:
- The facility for an enterprise to “outsource” all aspects of IT infrastructure
- The capacity to accommodate the full range of storage, processing, and data management services on a pay-as-you-go basis
- The capability to practice scalability and flexibility as per changing business needs
- The ability to hire and sustain remote talent on demand without any significant capital expenditure
- The ability to sign and terminate subscriptions as per convenience
- The ability to quickly modify service portfolios
- The capability to speedily procure new services without disrupting ongoing operations
- The facility of better security and control
It’s evident that XaaS helps enterprises work with a more flexible policy when selecting their IT infrastructure. As XaaS mainly includes state-of-the-art data storage and processing services, the rise in the adoption of XaaS in the New Normal makes sense.
XaaS Applications Emerging in Enterprises
The advent of XaaS has given rise to a new business model, wherein companies are able to conquer market uncertainty by quickly offering innovative services to clients. It has also spurred the growth of new verticals, taking into consideration the existing trends in the management of enterprise functionality and associated data storage.
A recent survey by Deloitte reveals that more than 62% of the companies that have embraced XaaS have been able to rapidly scale their IT capacity, successfully comply with the market demands, and keep the cost volatility in check.
The above has been made possible through the multi-faceted benefits of XaaS. Some of the most popular manifestations include:
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): This is generally one of the most common manifestations of XaaS, wherein organizations have access to enterprise applications and software through a cloud platform. ExamplesincludeDropbox, Salesforce, GSuite, HubSpot, etc.
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): PaaS is a cloud application that enables enterprises to utilize a cloud platform for the development, deployment, and maintenance of applications on the cloud. This can be further categorized intoAIPaaS, iPaaS,cPaaS, mPaas, etc. Examples of the same are IBM Cloud Foundry, Heroku, SAP Cloud, etc.
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): IaaS refers to the cloud-based storage and processing services rendered by a provider to an enterprise that acts as a customer. In this framework, the enterprise can rent out infrastructure and network capabilities as well as create, store, backup, and analyze its data on the cloud platform. IaaS is the underlying technology that powers PaaS and SaaS service models. Examples of the sameareAmazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine (GCE), etc.
- Storage-as-a-Service (StaaS): This is a cloud-based storage service thatoffers a range of enterprise storage solutions (such as data backup, online archiving, object storage, file sharing, etc.) to an enterprise. The user pays only for the storage they need,thus, optimizing their OpEx and warding off the risks posed by untamed CapEx.
- Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS): DBaaSexpedites the process ofdeploying and managing database services as part of the on-demand cloud model. This not only makes data management much more convenient than the conventional on-premise database, but also gives enterprises a competitive edge by ensuring high availability, reducing downtime, and ensuring faster turnaround time.
Apart from these, DRaaS, NaaS, DaaS, CaaS, AIaaS, IoTaaS, and HaaS, etc, have also emerged to cater to the diverse needs of enterprises.
What Does XaaS Mean for Enterprises Going Forward?
The advent of XaaS has been a major game-changer for enterprises. With it, many of the traditional on-premise enterprise-class storage systems have ended up out of date and unfit for the diverse requirements of today. As a result, conventional storage vendors have been forced to revamp their offerings to keep up with the demand.
Thus, going forward, enterprises need to prepare for a future where XaaS will have an unbreakable hold over data storage requirements. This will necessitate a re-imagining of the traditional enterprise storage systems, and rightly so.
From on-demand data-centric infrastructure to incrementally scalable, flexible stateful data stores, XaaS will help enterprises create a much more robust and resilient infrastructure without the sacrifice of traditional enterprise-class storage systems.