Cloud adoption has been growing rapidly over the past years. The 2017 State of the Cloud Report by RightScale states that 95% of IT professionals are using the cloud.

This highlights a dramatic shift in not just adoption of the cloud, but the attitudes surrounding it.

IT organizations might be drawn to different types of ‘as-a-service’ offerings — from Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

These have all culminated in what may ultimately become XaaS: Everything as a Service, but the final lineup of technologies comprising that list is yet to be actualized.

Besides the typical SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS offerings, many additional types of ‘as-a-service’ are available, such as Database-as-a-service, Storage-as-a-Service, Windows-as-a-Service, and even Malware-as-a-Service.

Both organizations planning to adopt a cloud service or those who are already managing resources on the cloud are faced with their own challenges and concerns.

Based on RightScale’s latest survey, lack of resources or expertise and security concerns are not as major concerns as in previous years, but mature cloud users state that managing costs for cloud platforms and services is a strong concern.

Most IT experts know that cloud consolidation has numerous cost benefits, but their concerns surrounding the cloud are the lack of acceptable models for deploying and leveraging cloud solutions.

There are also specific challenges for organizations adopting SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. To name a few, SaaS provides limited control over the infrastructure on which apps are running, despite cloud technology vendors making drastic improvements on bandwidth.

PaaS adoption can prove to be very complex and requires adjustments and code changes, and IaaS creates dependency on a particular cloud provider, which isn’t always beneficial for organizations.

Recently, the notion of Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) is becoming increasingly popular. XaaS is an umbrella term referring to an increasing number of services that are delivered over the Internet rather than provided locally or on-site.

XaaS eliminates distinctions between the different ‘as-a-service’ offerings and platforms, moving the focus from the type of offering to how all services can be made available and manageable over the Internet.

In this new world of “Everything as a Service”, organizations can tailor their environments to more rapidly accommodate changing employee and customer requirements.

“The death of commodity IT services, such as email, begins with IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, and culminates in XaaS… Although the SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS models are important, the impact of XaaS will tip the scale toward a massive paradigm shift in which technology is no longer considered a mere resource, but also a strategic imperative for ensuring business profitability in mass.”

For the full quote and additional perspectives, read the full article on IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

XaaS can mean different things to different organizations: While XaaS could mean everything-as-a-service for specific use-cases, others require anything-as-a-service – a broader category of services related to cloud computing, which will both expand and contract within the coming years as various cloud deployment models are tested by business processes.

XaaS might be the answer for several cloud challenges, allowing businesses to cut costs or retrieve resources more easily. Only the future will tell for sure.

But rather than regarding XaaS as just a buzzword, business interested in transitioning to XaaS should explore this notion further, understand how it can serve their current needs and address major pain points, and take in to account the impact of the transition on their organizational structure and culture.

Read what other IT experts had to say on XaaS on Stratoscale’s article: IaaS/PaaS/SaaS – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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