Cloud computing has completely transformed the way organizations deal with IT and software services. There’s been a sharp decline in conventional and one-time, fee-based IT solutions, signaling a change in the IT landscape. We’re now moving toward a more advanced solution: ITaaS, or IT as a service.
What Is IT as a Service (ITaaS)?
IT infrastructure forms the backbone of any organization. However, the increasingly expensive upfront costs and complex maintenance processes of traditional IT solutions are a serious obstacle for most organizations.
Thus, greater demand for the latest technological features, lower costs, upgraded security protocols, and dedicated customer service has led to the rise of ITaaS solutions.
Put simply, IT as a service provides immediate and direct access to IT solutions while affording customers the convenience of having to only pay for what they actually need.
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ITaaS providers now have a catalog of solutions for collaborating, communicating, computing, hosting, connecting, using professional services, improving business capabilities, and providing service support.
Overall, it’s safe to say that demand for ITaaS is on the rise. For example, according to a McKinsey report, 77% of organizations primarily used traditionally developed IT systems for a minimum of one workload in 2015; by 2018, this number witnessed a sharp drop to 43%.
A Golden Opportunity for MSPs
The increasing demand for ITaaS has positioned MSPs at the forefront of this industry-wide change. In short, passing up this opportunity is the equivalent of handing out customers to your competitors.
Consider this: Only 10% of global enterprises relied on ITaaS for their primary workloads back in 2015. Fast forward to 2018, and the number increased to 51%!
Modern-day organizations depend upon information and data for survival. This has led to a rising emphasis on applications that provide solutions for a wide range of problems, such as increased load on IT infrastructures and threats to uptime.
Research by IDC found that 71% of businesses in the United States are faced with an average downtime of approximately 10 hours per year. For small- or medium-sized businesses, this loss in productivity can result in up to $125,000 in lost revenue; for larger enterprises, that number can be as high as $17 million.
As a result, organizations are increasingly opting for ITaaS-based solutions, which is evident in the 12% increase in ITaaS adoption rates from 2015–2018.
Research shows that large enterprises have also increased allocation of their off-premises workloads to ITaaS providers. Large enterprises have also exhibited a marked interest in trusting hyperscale providers such as Google, Amazon, or Microsoft. Overall, 48% of large enterprises have handed their IT services to one of these three hyperscale providers, and it’s predicted that this number will rise to 80% in 2019.
What Differentiates ITaaS from Other Alternatives?
As a rapidly growing alternative to conventional organizational IT solutions, ITaaS has several differentiating factors that have been instrumental in its rising popularity. Let’s take a look at what distinguishes ITaaS from other options.
A Subscription-Based Model
The concept of subscription-based IT services is one of the key factors that sets ITaaS apart from the traditional IT service model. ITaaS providers typically charge a monthly fee based on the number of users and the number of solutions required. This means that small businesses, despite their size, can have unrestricted access to high-quality services. As those businesses scale, their subscriptions can be upgraded or downsized to suit their needs. For large organizations that rely heavily on IT, this means that they have a direct line to an expert and a reliable vendor—thus reducing, if not outright eliminating, extended downtimes and productivity loss.
Around-the-Clock Prioritized Support
Another hallmark of high-quality ITaaS solutions is the prioritized expert advice that enterprises can tap into anytime. In a first-line capacity, the service desk serves as the main point of contact between the IT solution provider and the client for technical faults, answers to queries, or other such issues. In the case of a larger company, priority support can be extended to an in-house team.
While most organizations operate from 9 to 5, ITaaS support is available 24/7, around the clock. With the growing focus on remote working and global business models, prioritized support has emerged as one of the defining points in favor of ITaaS.
Proactive monitoring dedicated to identifying IT problems enhances the security of an organization’s core servers and network. ITaaS utilizes monitoring platforms that track utilization and network health metrics and conduct in-depth trend analysis. This continuous monitoring results in vastly improved uptime. Most importantly, active monitoring leads to a significantly reduced mean time taken to repair (MTTR) in the event that a bug is discovered in the system.
Enhanced Performance and SLA-Bound Performance
Unlike in-house IT experts, an ITaaS contract is governed by a service-level agreement (SLA) that sets out certain standards of service that the customer can expect. SLAs also inlcude specific factors such as hours to immediate response, prioritization of faults, and the time required to fix bugs. The scope of the SLA is typically aligned with the organizational expectations of individual IT departments, which greatly benefits both parties.
Invested in providing their clients with the best-possible alternatives, MSPs are now focusing on providing ITaaS solutions. As we move towards a specialized economy, and enterprises look to allocate resources more efficiently, there is a vast potential for MSPs to emerge as the principle IT support providers.
In short, making sure you can offer the best possible services to your customers is one of the simplest ways to, not only keep them happy and satisfied, but also grow your business. Contact us today to learn more about how a partnership with Sherweb can help you.