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The future business is ‘Everything as a Service

October 13, 2011 • Opinion

It’s no secret that any successful company has the ability to respond quickly to changes in the business environment. While a significant portion of this agility comes down to effective management structures, an equally large segment can be attributed to the technology capabilities that underpin the organisation, says MTN Business.

Justin Colyn, MTN Business Fixed Mobile Convergence General Manager

According to Justin Colyn, General Manager of Fixed Mobile Convergence at MTN Business, “Technology today has become a critical operational ‘utility’ to business – much like electricity, telephony and water – and as such, any technology trend that is likely to impact businesses immeasurably must be explained and validated transparently in the industry. This is the only way to ensure effective decision making by already pressured CIOs and CTOs.”

According to Gartner, Software as a Service (SaaS) growth does not show any signs of slowing down. In fact, Gartner has predicted that global SaaS revenue should reach $12.1 billion in 2011, which is a 20.7% increase from the revenue in 2010. Colyn continues.

“These statistics may be indicative of global trends but considering the attention and success that cloud computing has already achieved locally, coupled with phenomenal growth rates of mobility (19.8%** year on year), it is our opinion that ‘everything as a service’ or XaaS as it is known, will revolutionise the South Africa and African business landscape far more.”

XaaS provides businesses with a platform that offers agility and the flexibility to engage with the latest in technological services, through the cloud. This means that enterprises do not need to continuously purchase and invest in the latest technology solutions for their business structures. Rather – through using the XaaS platform – companies can choose services, with the required levels of capacity that are needed, in relation to their specific business needs. “The benefit is that these organisations don’t need to break the bank doing it! In fact the XaaS model not only increases employee productivity and improves efficiencies but provides significant long term cost saving, as continually changing IT investments are no longer necessary,” adds Colyn.

“It’s a win-win situation for business, which is why its uptake and subsequent revolution of the technology industry is inevitable. Cloud computing has already become a must have for CIOs and IT managers as they no longer have to worry about servers running out of capacity, networks falling over, viruses spreading like wildfire on the corporate LAN or any of the myriad ICT problems that crop up on a daily basis. Add XaaS to the picture, through a trusted XaaS service provider, then focusing on technology strategies and running effective business models will once again become the CTO and CIO’s key job function.”

The MTN Business XaaS model and offering is and will be made up of 6 key components that offers a flexible access for businesses – be it from a desk, the home, tablet, smartphone or any other mobile device. These include:

·         Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – a paradigm under which businesses outsource computing equipment required to support their operations. This typically includes hardware such as servers, storage subsystems and networking devices and is similar to what today is commonly known as outsourcing.

·         Platform as a Service (PaaS) – the underlying enterprise software platform (the operating system of a business). PaaS provides the basis on top of which enterprise software can run.

·         Software as a Service (SaaS) – this provides a range of business application software including ERP and CRM environments.

·         Desktop as a Service (DaaS) – a virtual operating system including basic applications such as a choice between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice. The purpose is to provide a full basic desktop environment, including the ability to generate or edit word processing documents or spreadsheets, available to all users at the flick of a switch.

·         Communication as a Service (CaaS) – standardising both fixed and mobile voice communications, distributed PABX’s and Contact Centres into a single cloud-based Unified Communications and Collaboration, Fixed Mobile Converged solution suited to all business sizes.

·         Security as a Service (SecaaS) – an outsourcing model for security management, including the installation and maintenance of security tools such as firewall software and anti-virus packages.

“Considering the pace as which technology advances, often the biggest challenge that businesses are faced with today is the decision around what technology is best for their enterprise.  As a result, businesses require technology that will last and not become null and void in a short period of time. XaaS addresses this and offers businesses a platform to allow them to stay on top of trends, be truly agile, make use of technology and services their business requires on a pay-as-you-grow model, whilst still increasing productivity and saving costs,” concludes Colyn.

Justin Colyn, MTN Business Fixed Mobile Convergence General Manager

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