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Top 10 "As A Service" Solutions


Virtually any kind of technology service will be available off-premises or in the cloud. This list uses the term "service" as being provided offsite or outside your data center. We started with Software as a Service ( SaaS) back in the day but now there are almost too many cloud based service offerings to keep track of. I am going to catch you up on the "as a service", well, services. It's important for you to have a basic understand of the services available so you can make informed decisions when looking for cost saving or new technology. I have also includes a sampling of vendors that provide the various services.

1. BaaS - Backup as a Service

Backup as a Service represents an alternative to traditional backups. For years, IT groups have backed up data to tapes or disk and then move the data offsite for their disaster recovery purposes. The backups were typically local which means the backups never left the local network. Backup as a Service offers companies the ability to do their backups to the cloud. With the decrease in the cost of online storage, this has become a viable option.

2. CaaS - Communizations as a Service

This is also referred to as UCaaS or Unified Communications as a Service. Outsourcing communications really makes sense for small and medium sized businesses. The cost of the infrastructure required to support the required services is high. We are seeing many organizations creating hybrid solutions with a mix of onsite infrastructure integrated with off-premises based services. The UaaS industry is led by email, collaboration, conferencing and telephony.

We are seeing organizations partnering or even acquiring businesses to expand their presence in the communications marketplace. For example, Cisco's aquisition of WebEx a few years ago is part of this story.

3. DaaS - Desktop as a Service

Desktop as a Service (Daas) represents a new paradigm of desktop applications. We are used to Microsoft Office or our favorite accounting application being installed and run on our local computer. This works fine but when you need to deploy an upgrade or patch one of the subsystems, this scenario becomes very inefficient. Multiply this by a company with 10,000 desktop PCs and you see what kind of overhead this can result in.

DaaS results in a virtual desktop delivered on demand. While many of the "as a Service" solutions are delivered from the clould, Desktop as a Service applications can be delivered from the cloud or just delivered from the organization's data center. Local applications can be delivered remotely using technology from VMWare or Citrix s well as others. There is a trend in this space for Desktop as a Service (DaaS).


4. DaaS - Database as a Service

This service has become increasing more popular. Virtually all major database platforms are available in the cloud today. Even Microsoft SQL Server is partially represented with Microsoft Azure SQL.

5. HaaS - Hardware as a Service

Hardware as a Service is more than just leasing PCs. HaaS providers typically deal with the full desktop lifecycle including procurement and replacement of PCs, proactive patching and OS level software and IT monitoring. It's usually a pay-as-you-go or subscription model. Some definitions of HaaS includes other IT hardware. For this list, I refer to this as IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service. I found that Haas providers served a local market. I am sure this will change in the coming years.

6. IaaS - Identity as a Service

This offering deals with identity and access management including administration, auditing and verification for cloud based services. IaaS comes after you begin moving parts of your IT environment into hosted solutions or cloud based services. Services like single sign-on, authentication, user provisioning and credential management round out the basic offerings of this solution set.

7. IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service

8. PaaS - Platform as a Service

9. SaaS - Software as a Service

SaaS is the original "as a service" solution. Salesforce.com helped defined the market and continues to be a leader with their hosted CRM solution. The trend is for on-premises software vendors to provide a cloud based solution. Software as a Service is a solution where a full application is delivered over the internet as opposed to being hosted on-premises at a company's data center. In a SaaS model for an application, basic administration and server patching, etc. are handled by the provider. Gartner predicts that SaaS based enterprise applications will grow from 10% in 2010 to 14% in 2014. This is an increase of 40%.

10. SaaS - Storage as a Service

Storage as a Service is another service offering that is very similar to some of the other solutions. With the reduced cost of storage because of compitition like Amazon S3.

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