What Is IT-as-a-Service?

You’ve probably heard the buzz word IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) floating around for a while now and may have been wondering what it’s all about. Let me see if I can briefly explain what it is, including some of the benefits of this service.

As the name says, IT as a service is a service of information technology. As simple as that may sound, there are many benefits to it and businesses all around the world are trying it on for size. If you want a more specific definition, Wayne Pauley put it this way

“IT-as-a-Service is a business-centric approach which focuses on outcomes, operational efficiency,     competitiveness, and rapid response. It optimizes the production and consumption of services consistent with business requirements.”

So, what does all that mean? Who knows, but the basic idea is that IT-as-a-service (ITaaS) is a service provided to make business and organizations more efficient, in terms of their IT department. The public cloud, for example, is one of the most visible examples of IT-as-a-service today. With the rapid change in technology, IT companies are striving to response to this change to maintain business agility, productivity, and efficiency. In order to do this, IT departments need to transform their operating models and infrastructure to run more like cloud computing service providers, and other external service providers. In other words, they need to deliver IT as a service, hence the name.

As this transformation takes place within IT and the data centers, those who support the data center (including the CIO) will also need to take on some kind of transformation to properly sustain the IT department.

Top Characteristics of IT-as-a-Service:

  • Speed and agility – being able to respond to business needs faster
  • Leveraging virtualization to enable cloud computing – a precursor for private cloud adoption
  • Unified infrastructures
  • Scalability is also important – IT needs to be able to scale up and down (needs to take a lifecycle approach to managing IT services)
  • Needs to be simple – the key is to have an easy to use, self-service portal and interface
  • Automation – the key to long-term, repeatable success

Some of the key benefits of IT-as-a-service include:

  • A more business-centered approach to IT that is supposed to created better outcomes, efficiency, and quicker response.
  • It reduces some of the costs associated with more traditionally IT teams.
  • It brings greater ability to measure performance and capacity.
  • Brings down overhead cost and excess capacity
  • Best mix of capital and operating costs
  • Ability to scale up and down in IT depending on the needs of the business
  • Provides the ability to reassign resources based on what is needed
  • Provides a utility-based services that is saleable and that that includes infrastructure, support and applications.
  • Creates a single point of contact for direct support
  • Provides a pool of experts who are ready to support the business with qualified IT services
  • Gives management the ability and help to manage and govern the IT department in a more efficient and effective way.

As you can see from the lists above there are many benefits to be gained from IT-as-a-service. This service has been growing in demand for several years and will continue to expand as more businesses and organizations realize the benefits it provides.

About the Author: John Krane, who is a member of the IT Service Management Professionals Association, wrote this post to help educate businesses and organizations about the benefits of ITaaS. John also frequently publishes online about virtualization and internet security issues.


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