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The Growing “As-A-Service” Trend Surrounding Technology Implementation

We have all heard the term As-a-Service… It’s been around since 2001 when the cloud brought us Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This subscription approach provided an alternative to buying one-time physical copies of software. Benefits included spreading out payments and receiving automatic updates for the software. The concept was for cloud services to replace the physical element. But as technologies continued to evolve, so did the As-a-Service Model. It grew to include just about anything you can think of…

  • Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS)
  • Backend/Backup as a Service (BaaS)
  • Cloud as a Service (CaaS)
  • Data as a Service (DaaS)
  • Hardware as a Service (HaaS)
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Monitoring as a Service (MaaS)
  • Network as a Service (NaaS)
  • Retail as a Service (RaaS)
  • (IT) Security as a Service (SaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

  • Technicians as a Service (TaaS)

As you may have guessed from that list, we have seen a return to the physical component with a variety of subscription-based programs.

One such program is Network as a Service (NaaS), which was highlighted during an NRF 2023 panel with Gerri Hinkel, Director, Solutions and Vertical Marketing for Aruba Networks and Coleen Matsuo, Senior Director of Technology for The Home Depot.

Program model:

  • A subscription financial model
  • Visibility into consumption of the service
  • All hardware/software
  • Optional third-party managed services


Program Benefits:

  • Accelerate time-to-value
  • Predictable pay-as-you-go
  • Ensure infrastructure is always ready to support the business
  • Mitigate potential risks to network security and performance
  • Free up IT staff to focus on strategic projects
  • Refresh technology faster and more sustainably

Another example is Technician as a Service (TaaS), which is fully focused on the physical brick-and-mortar location. Troubleshooting, repairs and on-going maintenance can get expensive. Customer experience can also be impacted when systems are down or operate erratically. By offering a subscription-based model for post-deployment services, companies can maintain predictable expenses while protecting the efficiency of their technology solution. It also frees up IT staff for other more strategic functions.

These examples demonstrate a key reason for this segment growth: common benefits.

Almost all As-a-Service models offer predictable pay-as-you-go subscriptions, scalability, and improved technology performance, while freeing up IT staff. That makes it enticing for companies of any size, to have predictability in an unpredictable market.

Technology investments are expensive, not just the purchase of hardware and software, but the installation and maintenance as well. The prospect of blown budgets cause decision-makers to hesitate before committing a large percentage of resources to technology projects.

Another hesitation is lifecycle. Technology is evolving so quickly that many solutions have a relatively short shelf-life. Network refreshes can be complex, time consuming and disruptive. But programs like TaaS and NaaS allow companies to predictably plan for technology refreshes, giving them a competitive edge in a market that is hyper-focused on customer experience.

With inflation still on the rise and consumer confidence on the decline, businesses need to get creative to stay competitive. And as we have seen, the As-a-Service trend has expanded to help businesses do just that, at a time when unpredictable has been at the helm far too long.