451 Research argues ‘everything as a service’ as next cloud opportunity

The concept of ‘everything as a service’ has been around the industry for a few years – yet according to the latest note from 451 Research, the increased demand for managed security, disaster recovery and networking is forcing its rise to the mainstream.

The analyst firm argues that the ability to ‘connect the dots’ with managed services will provide a key differentiator to both channel partners and service providers, as new kinds of managed services emerge. According to the company’s Voice of the Enterprise: Hosting and Cloud Managed Services study, from earlier this year, managed services and security services are aligned to approximately half of the total hosting and cloud opportunity, with that number increasing year by year.

“This spending trend, alongside feedback from providers, indicates there is an appetite for a wider range of bundled offerings from the managed service sector including systems integrators, VARs, and others with service deliver experience,” said Rory Duncan, 451 research director for managed services and hosting in a statement.

“We see a significant opportunity for technology vendors to partner with service providers to offer higher value, niche and vertical offerings as these services rapidly emerge,” he added.

This publication first examined everything, or anything as a service (XaaS) back in 2014. The rather modest example given at the time was around desktop as a service, which would have included from a service provider an office suite, or the SaaS side, servers (IaaS), as well as maintenance and a physical endpoint, offering the customer one fee and one ‘throat to choke’ for the product’s delivery.

In other words, this example offers up a managed service. But as a blog post from Chargify, a subscription billing software provider, put it back in February, XaaS is ‘extending beyond cloud computing’, pervading multiple industry models, and could kickstart the smart home revolution.

“[We] expect to see a myriad of more traditional industries and non-subscription products pivot to include ‘as a service’ in their offerings,” the company wrote. “Consumers are businesses are embracing the many benefits of the subscription model, and businesses should be looking at how to incorporate XaaS into their own roadmaps for future success.”