What is IT-as-a-Service?
ITaaS (short for IT-as-a-Service) is an end-to-end service delivery model that treats IT as an operational expense. Rather than viewing IT as a cost centre with large capital expenditures, ITaaS is categorized into distinct functional components such as applications, infrastructure and support.
Unlike other models, ITaaS views technology as a core part of business strategy in that it combines best practices along with an emphasis on choosing the right technology to promote productivity and drive business growth.
5 Reasons to choose ITaaS
IT-as-a-Service has many advantages. Here are a few different ways your business can benefit by adopting an ITaaS model:
IT-as-a-Service provides an in-depth cost-benefits analysis for each decision that is made. In addition, IT-as-a-Service views documentation and ITIL-style change management as an integral component of IT business operations.
ITaaS also promotes accountability by maintaining a structure of decision-making similar to the actual business itself. In other words while business owners who adapt an ITaaS approach still ultimately have the final say (or not if they so choose), when it comes to technology the expectation its that ITaaS operates independently on a pre-agreed budget in the best interests of the company (similar to sales, marketing etc).
2. Efficiency + Automation
IT-as-a-Service places a strong emphasis on automating that which can be automated while redirecting resources towards pro-actively identifying issues and implementing solutions before they become a hindrance to the business.
Examples of areas that benefit from automation include:
- Scripting manual tasks
- Employee workflows (going paperless, etc)
- Scheduled maintenance / patching
- Deployment (laptops, phones etc)
By eliminating time-consuming tasks, the business becomes more efficient and saves money by allowing their staff and resources to focus on promoting business growth.
ITaaS is budgeted as an OPEX – Operating Expenditure, whereas many businesses treat their IT as a cost centre; a CAPEX – Capital Expenditure. The advantages of choosing an OPEX vs a CAPEX approach are numerous, including:
- Save on taxes – because OPEX is taxed as an operating cost, you will generally pay less.
- Lean out your budget – ITaaS intends to trim the fat by automating and eliminating as many inconsistencies as possible
- Leasing equipment vs owning – it’s no secret that IT equipment ages into obsolescence nearly faster than any other purchase. Not only is leasing computer equipment generally cheaper than purchasing, but your business also gets refreshed to the latest and greatest every few years (vs having to buy new over and over).
While IT-as-a-Service operates under a structured model, that doesn’t mean that every single IT company should run the same solutions. In fact, ITaaS emphasizes pro-active change management while intending to find a solution that fits with the needs of the business.
Some examples of how this works are:
- BYOD (bring your own device) policies – this encourages staff to be more productive by carrying one device instead of two, while utilizing MDM (Mobile Device Management) to maintain a strict security policy on what kind of data can be shared from said device
- Open source and cross-platform compatibility – by utilizing cloud technology, it’s possible to develop solutions that can operate under a structured IT model where data is stored securely but works across all platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc).
- Multi vendor support – Microsoft, Google and Amazon all offer powerful cloud platforms. Which one is right for the business depends on what the needs and goals of that business are (sometimes this involves 2 or more cloud providers working in sync with each other)
5. Business Agility
ITaaS takes into account the long term roadmap of the business. Use only what you need – while the cloud is not a requirement for operating under an ITaaS model, a great emphasis is often placed on moving to the cloud. Why? Because the cloud scales with your business (which fits with how ITaaS operates as well). This eliminates unneeded licensing costs and having to upgrade servers to handle increased workloads (it also allows you to downgrade if you need to).
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