I think that I can safely assume that, in order to perform your daily work, you’re using at least one cloud service. Things like Microsoft Office 365 and Google Drive or more specialised solutions such as Adobe Creative Cloud. Another thing: how many of you still have an internal IT department? Many companies don’t. And do you still buy you own phones and laptops for your company? Businesses are realising that leasing these devices from an IT company under a full-service contract is a lot less hassle and a lot more cost-effective in the long run. In the world of IT, there are a ton of different something-as-a-Service-variations. We’ll give you a definition of the most common ones below.
Types of services
SaaS – Software-as-a-Service
SaaS is -at least currently- the most common of the ‘as-a-Service’-family. It stands for Software-as-a-Service and refers to any software packages that work with a subscription model. The software runs on servers of the company that builds the software. The benefit is that you’ll save costs on buying your own servers for running the application and backing up data. A SaaS product typically includes license(s), full support and backups. Office 365 is a good, widely used example of a SaaS solution.
IaaS – Infrastructure-as-a-Service
Infrastructure-as-a-Service is renting virtual computers and other IT resources from a service provider. In other words: you access your workspace over the internet, while the physical hardware these virtual components run on is owned by the service provider. There are a few key benefits to IaaS. It is easily scalable, as you only pay for exactly how many resources you need. This also makes IaaS very cost-effective. On top of that, since IaaS is a cloud-based model, it is very reliable as cloud services have high standards for security and backup.
WaaS – Workplace-as-a-Service
No longer having to buy laptops, computers, phones, peripherals and software. That is the essence of WaaS, Workplace-as-a-Service. Instead of purchasing IT equipment, you employ a full-service IT company to take care of that and offer support and device management. It is sort of the next level up from SaaS and IaaS. SaaS is only concerned with a single software package and licensing. IaaS is about computational resources. WaaS is a total solution that includes any hard- and software required to run your business.
IDaaS – Identity-as-a-Service
Identity-as-a-Service is a model in which an IT service provider takes responsibility of authentication and authorisation. In other words: verifying whether someone who logs in on a system is actually who they say they are. Once they are in, IDaaS ensures that the person only gets access to the applications and information they need and/or are allowed to see. IDaaS is an important part of security when operating in the cloud.
And there are more
As you see, there are a lot of things IT service providers can offer as-a-Service. The ones mentioned above are the most common ones, but there are many more such as DbaaS (Database-as-a-Service) or DRaaS (Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service). Since there are so many possibilities and different components, an umbrella term for this concept was bound to appear sooner or later. That’s XaaS: Everything-as-a-Service. It refers to the overall concept of subscription-based hard- and software solutions.
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