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What to Know About the Growing Popularity of the ‘As-a-Service’ Business Model

Author: Vijayasarathi Balasubramanian

The Internet has made it easier than ever to commercialize and monetize products, skills, services, and people. It’s the effect of global connectivity, and it’s created a landscape where enterprising and observant businesses can thrive, no matter their size. However, this has also created an environment of rapid trend changes and an overwhelming influx of knowledge. Because of this, we’ve created new technologies and marketing strategies to establish a sense of norm and to better adjust to these variables.

This has led to the creation of the “as-a-service” business model, which is divided into numerous tiers. Though still in its infancy stages, this paradigm has emerged as a way for businesses new and old to develop clear operation goals while also opening new opportunities for growth and chances to better connect with their current consumer base. “As-a-service” has shifted the global economy in a noticeable way, even if businesses and consumers may not be able to pin down the exact terminology or reasons for these changes. By creating a set of service-centric methodologies, businesses are incentivized to creative, competitive, high-quality offerings whether as a product or a service.

Now, we have to go over what the various tiers of this business model are. Four of the most popular are:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) is also known as “on-demand software”. Essentially, users are able to connect to and use software applications live on the Internet, often on a subscription basis. While there is a healthy balance of SaaS businesses offer their software for free or as a trial, they often have more robust options for paying users. Some examples are Salesforce, Mailchimp, Hubspot, and Wrike.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a model that allows for consumers to create or access virtual machines and for cloud computing to happen at scale using physical and virtual resources. This allows hosts to relieve some of the burdens that come with physical storage and equipment by offering a more centralized location with more optimized processing standards. For small independent hobbyists, this can provide a more accessible medium as they learn their trade of choice. Some examples are Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud infrastructure, and Heroku.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) is also known as “application platform as a service” or aPaaS. This is a culmination of cloud computing services that provides developers with a complete development environment that would be needed to draft, store, complete, and deploy applications. The differences between IaaS and PaaS can appear slight at first, but whereas IaaS still allows users to use their physical equipment, PaaS completely offloads this burden and usually specifically caters to developers. Some providers of IaaS also work with a PaaS model. Some examples include Digital Ocean, Dropbox, OpenShift, and Google App Engine.
  • Data as a Service (DaaS) is one of the newer names in the “as a service” universe. It’s a data management strategy that’s completely hosted in the cloud and allows for businesses to manipulate, analyze, and process data with more refined agility. DaaS is still ambiguous in nature, and it can be hard to differentiate its offerings from SaaS. However, the primary thing to focus on is its use of data, which presents a niche market interest for data specialists and professionals and leaves it open to numerous possibilities and endless growth.

“As a service” has many different aspects to it. “Everything as a Service” (XaaS) has emerged as a new umbrella term to succinctly encompass all current and future paradigms. Regardless of how it’s described, it’s undeniable that we have entered a new economical age of interactions. The “as a service” family is still growing, still being honed and refined, so it will be a while yet before we fully know what stands chief among others as different models will appeal to different niches. Others will naturally fall to the wayside as collective and individual needs change.

As it stands, we are in a fascinating age of productivity and commercialization. While this certainly has its downfalls, individuals and businesses are able to compete on a more even playing field. Finances still play an important part, certainly, but the rules have changed to where the most observant, adaptive, and conscientious players survive.