EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE “AS-A-SERVICE” MOVEMENT

Rapid technological developments are driving major changes in the world of business. As we discussed in a previous blog, digital transformation isn’t simply changing the technologies we’re using, but the entire way that we do business.  It is fully embracing disruptive innovation and change at every level of an organization.  The same can be said of the “as-a-Service” model.  For the past decade, this model has been taking over a wide range of industries.  You’ve probably heard of Software-as-a-Service in regards to subscription-based ERP software, but the “as-a-Service” model has spread far beyond software and data delivery. This is because the model is based on a much larger socio-economic trend away from owning assets and accumulating objects to placing more value on experiences and services.

Anything-As-A-Service (XaaS) Explained

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS), Video-as-a-Service (VaaS), Grocery-as-a-Service (GaaS), Transportation-as-a-Service (TaaS)… the list goes on and on.

Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) envisions business capabilities, products, and processes not as discreet vertical offerings that exist individually in silos, but instead, as a collection of horizontal services that can be accessed and leveraged across organizational boundaries.  But what’s driving the XaaS model? In short, customer expectations of ownership, service, and access are evolving more rapidly than ever.  Many call the “as-a-Service” model the “Uberized Economy,” a nod to its similarities to the “Sharing Economy” ideology and the Transportation-as-a-Service company Uber.  Uber and competitors like Lyft allow consumers to get from point A to point B quickly, efficiently, and, perhaps most importantly, without the operational expenses associated with owning a car.  The obvious assumption associated with Uber’s rising popularity was that it was disrupting the Taxi industry, but Luxury car companies are concerned that these affordable ride-sharing services will drastically lower the percentage of car owners in the not-so-far-off future.

Now, apply this same concept to enterprise IT.  The same way consumers want to be able to get from A to B without suffering having to pay for insurance, gas, parking tickets, etc. , employees, businesses, partners, vendors and even customers want easy access to IT services without the burden of supporting and maintaining it.  With cloud technologies, this is not only a possibility, it’s already happening.  The “as-a-Service” model has been taking over the IT space for over a decade.  We now have mobile devices that automatically update applications and operating systems, wireless networks designed from the ground up to be managed in the cloud.  The technologies and devices will of course, continue to adapt, but most importantly, this new model fundamentally changes how technology is acquired and used.

But what makes aaS different than any other tech trend threatening to disrupt today’s business landscape?  The reasons are numerous and growing.  In fact, from 2016 to 2020 the global XaaS market will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 38.22%.  More than switching payment for software to a subscription model, it’s about taking the real total cost of ownership and converting that to a predictable expense, with a highly predictable outcome while delivering products that evolve and add continual value.  It is just as much a mind-set as it is a business strategy. This is why the aaS model will ultimately change every aspect of the IT infrastructure.  Below are just a few of the major reasons XaaS is here to stay:

Mobility

Society is quickly adopting a mobile-first, cloud-focused environment, so it’s no surprise that business users are following suit.  By keeping everything on the cloud, it is accessible and up-to-date allowing users to work on-the-go without sacrificing security or quality of work.

Democratization Of Infrastructure

XaaS allows for the democratization of infrastructure in that anyone can choose the services they want, with little to no technical skills or knowledge.  This is changing business models, and providing opportunities for small and large businesses alike.

Flexibility

Consumers and businesses are demanding increasingly personalized services.  XaaS allows companies to change on demand, keeping up with the rapid changes currently facing modern businesses of any size in all industries.

Cost Effective

XaaS liberates IT teams from repetitive daily tasks like management and monitoring, allowing companies to invest money in business strategy, rather than infrastructure and maintenance.  But XaaS does more than cuts costs, it also hold potential to drive growth and revenue for companies who can use it creatively and effectively.

SaaS Is Changing ERP

A cloud ERP stack is infrastructure that doesn’t behave like infrastructure. This is SaaS, you pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee for a product that updates, maintains and monitors itself without you needing to touch it.  One familiar tool that consistently provides access to cutting-edge technology without any additional work.  SaaS is, in other words, future-proof.

5 Cost-Cutting Benefits Of SaaS Vs Traditional ERP

In general, SaaS cloud ERP can save companies money by reducing setup, maintenance, and monitoring costs and allow businesses to focus on innovation and development.  However, now all SaaS cloud ERP’s are equal.  It’s important to research your organization’s unique needs and compare ERP offerings, or rely on the expertise of a specialized consultant to find the right ERP system.  Below are five of the general cost benefits of SaaS ERP.

1.  Reduce Overhead

Hosting an on-premise ERP requires your organization to pay for the associated building, maintaining, and securing of your data center.  Your IT team must spend hours working to repair old or outdated hardware, servicing servers, and ensuring that all firewalls and security measures are in place.  With SaaS cloud ERP, you no longer shoulder the responsibility of maintaining a data center, and your IT team can focus on other tasks.  In 2014, Computer Economics found that businesses who had mostly or completely moved to a cloud ERP solution saved, on average, 15% on IT spending.

2. No Maintenance Charges

In the past, one of the biggest headaches associated with ERP software was the need to pay for yearly maintenance and bug fixes.    With SaaS ERP, hardware, server, and IT maintenance is included in subscription costs.  Instead of constantly servicing an out of date system, you’ll instantly have access to the latest technology provided by your ERP vendor.

3. Lower Upfront Costs

On-premise ERP notoriously have high upfront costs associated with ownership.  SaaS cloud ERP is subscription-based, meaning that users can pay smaller increments over time rather than one large upfront cost that breaks the bank.  This lower initial investment means that companies, especially small and mid-sized businesses, can benefit from all of the functionalities of an ERP system without breaking the bank.

4. Scalability

By paying month-to-month, SaaS ERP users can easily add or remove users or modules as their company shrinks or grows.  Instead of guessing how many licenses or which modules you’ll require for the next few years, remove the guesswork from your business software with flexible SaaS solutions.

5. Easy Integrations

The cloud is what made SaaS solutions a possibility.  By utilizing the cloud, your SaaS ERP is easily integrated with CRM, HR management, marketing automation, inventory management, and credit card processing, just to name a few.  Your data will instantly sync between mobile devices and the home office saving you time and money by automating previously manual processes.

SaaS ERP is just the tip of the iceberg of the aaS model.  XaaS is sweeping both the consumer and business worlds.  But by utilizing a true SaaS ERP solution, your business can better prepare for changes to come.  At ACC, our consultants are experienced with both traditional on-premises and and cloud (both private and public) deployments and will help you determine the best option for your business so you can embrace the aaS model on your own terms when you’re ready.

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