The widespread adoption and rising internet speeds has allowed for a new way to purchase to go into widespread use, this is as a service, often abbreviated to aaS when the type of service which is being purchased has its initial put before it. There is an endless list of goods which can be purchased as a service for example: backup as a service (baas), software as a service (saas), platform as a service (paas), infrastructure as a service (iaas), disaster recovery as a service (drass), hardware as a service (has) and so on. The service provider hosts the equipment, software or whatever is being used themselves and lets their clients use it. In most cases services which are used are delivered over the internet. Even mobile phone contracts are a type of as a service, you pay a monthly bill which gives you x amount of minutes, texts and data for you to use however you want. The price you pay also includes technical support and a service guarantee which the service provided would have stated in their terms and conditions. All of the other as a service models in information technology work in much the same way as this.
There are some distinct advantages to using the as a service IT model which has led to it becoming so successful. The main one is that you do not have to spend a large sum of money to get the capabilities that you need, let us take infrastructure as a service for example, you may need to a few servers to put some applications on for a few months and then after that reduce the load on them which would reduce your need for the amount of processing power, RAM, storage space etc. if you were to physically purchase this equipment it would be expensive to begin with, you would need space to house it and you would be left with unused hardware and software at the end of it as your requirement goes away, with the as a service model you do not have this problem as the service provider owns it. Your business just pays to use it and you pay for the amount you require, as the need decreases or increases you can purchase a lower usage amount.
Ease of use is another major benefit as the service is provided by the service provider you often require less technical knowledge by using the as a service model as opposed to doing it in house. For example if a client is using our backup as a service package our management portal will alert us of the amount of data being backed up, if new storage space is needed it is automatically provisioned, you do not need to do anything as it is all managed by us and you have the tools to log into the management portal and see exactly how much data has been backed up, data growth etc.
Having access to more powerful computing systems is another big benefit which the as a service model lets you enjoy as it is a shared service your using (the service provider owns the equipment and provides it as a services to other businesses), these services all have an on demand nature, you can use it when you need it and purchase an amount in line with your needs (it is based on usage). It is an inexpensive way to use high end technology. For example our Hosted Email package gives you a Microsoft Exchange mailbox which is always kept up to date, the mailbox is kept in a ISO certified UK based data center on high end email servers, they are then replicated to a secondary site for added resiliency and you also have a 125GB mailbox with antivirus and spam features. This service starts from just £5 per month and it is managed by us. These services can all be trailed for free.
Having access to a big knowledge base on tap is another key driver here, services such as technical support as a service lets your business have its own IT support department at a fraction of the cost of having internal IT support staff as it is a pay per user model. We spoke about the different aspects of technical support in a previous post. These services give flexibility which is at the core of all of services that we offer, it is completely based around your businesses requirements and lets you use IT as a business enabler.
Overall the as a service is growing day by day and has a lot of buzz around it as technology capabilities continue to increase. This gives small businesses access to higher level technologies which in turn increases their innovation and competitive levels enabling them to do more in a shorter amount of time for a lower overall cost. These services are designed to be easy to use with no technical knowledge required and will let you use technology in a more meaningful way in your business.
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