In today’s customer-centric world, businesses can’t afford to take months or even weeks to deliver. Every moment when 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 why the cloud happened de facto work model for organizations of all sizes. Flexible cloud consumption models allow companies to stay flexible by choosing the computing services that work best for them, regardless of their size.

Whether they use hyper-scale solutions such as AWS, private clouds in shared environments, such as those created in partnership between iOCO, VMWare and Teraco, or a combination thereof, businesses have become dependent on on-demand services to maintain their competitive advantage.

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

The demand for “Software as a Service”, “Infrastructure as a Service” and “Platform as a Service” solutions has quickly become an essential business requirement: XaaS for the company’s own services and for the inclusion of external services to improve internal processes.

The numbers do not lie

Adopting the XaaS approach allows organizations to reduce operating costs, work with more predictable costs, and minimize the effort they must make to meet customer needs.

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

In fact, companies that do not include XaaS may risk falling behind competitors.

39% of companies said expanding the use of XaaS helps them keep up with their competitors, and 28% believe that using flexible consumption models gives them significant leadership.

Not surprisingly, 80% of XaaS users say the pandemic has accelerated their transition from traditional IT to XaaS. According to a Spiceworks survey, over the past few years the main factors shifting the workload to the model as a service have been:

  • Ensuring access to data anywhere (42%)
  • Increased disaster recovery capabilities (38%)
  • Provide better flexibility / scalability (37%)
  • Reduce the burden on IT staff
  • Reduction of capital expenditures (28%)
  • Increase in storage capacity (26%)
  • Improve data security (26%)

In light of these figures, it can be expected that even more unconventional solutions will 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 more popular, and solutions like IoT-as-a-service are not lagging behind.

Changing thinking

Switching to XaaS requires more than just figuring out logistics: it also requires a change of mindset. The transition to the cloud creates excitement in the organization, from how a company thinks about design, to how it works with its data, to operations, to market entry strategies.

This strategy builds on several technological improvements, such as offering network-like services that enable business efficiency, customizing network services, enhancing security, and new consumption patterns that support complex and demanding multi-cloud environments with appropriate hyper-scale frameworks for XaaS.

For those who view the transition to the model as a service, there are a few key imperatives to keep in mind, including:

  • Use data analysis and specially designed platforms to help the XaaS transition: Start your XaaS journey by collaborating with specially designed platforms that can speed up your journey and allow you to easily focus on achieving business results with your existing systems and connected devices.
  • Assume that the new model will create some unexpected changes in your organization: While the XaaS model will impact many parts of your business, it is also an opportunity to reinvent and reintroduce your offerings.
  • Be ready to constantly adjust your plans taking into account market dynamics and technological trends: In addition to unforeseen changes, your customers are also likely to think about your new offerings and they will need consistent communication. Be prepared to incorporate design thinking into the overall lifecycle of a product or solution.

As more and more companies embrace digital transformation, XaaS offerings can help CIOs and CIOs prioritize productivity and new growth opportunities, and create greater cohesion between IT and business units.

The last few years have taught us that the only constant in life 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.

Paul Spanioletti, Head of Business Unit: Cloud and Security in South Africa

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