BeauWilder_blog_imageWhere it was once a costly and time-consuming proposition for small businesses to customize their IT infrastructure; the movement of IT services to the cloud has changed that. Today, a host of software and computing infrastructure now is available on demand through subscription-based public and private cloud services. In this new world of “Everything as a Service” or more commonly called XaaS, small businesses can tailor their computing environments to more rapidly accommodate changing employee and customer requirements.

On-demand services enable small businesses to focus on the business and not on underlying infrastructure and systems, which makes them able to respond to new business opportunities more quickly. Other advantages include access to new technologies and scalability to more easily accommodate changes in the workforce. XaaS also offers the advantage of shifting costs from capital to operational expenses thereby freeing up cash, which small businesses can use for other projects that drive revenue and growth.

Many small businesses already may be employing Software as a Service (SaaS) for email, accounting and customer relationship management (CRM), to name a few applications. Data backup and storage are another area where many companies have turned to per-seat, per-month usage models. Other as-a-Service platforms small business might want to consider include:

Platform as a Service (PaaS): The PaaS model delivers the hardware and software tools needed to develop and deploy applications. Since the provider hosts the hardware and software on their infrastructure, small businesses do not have to install their own.

Desktop as a Service (DaaS): DaaS provides a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that is hosted by a cloud services provider. With virtualization, small business users can access their desktop from any device, gaining access to applications, data and so forth.

Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas): IaaS provides computer resources, such as storage, networking and operating systems on demand through cloud service providers. Gartner explains, “Customers are able to self-provision this infrastructure, using a Web-based graphical user interface that serves as an IT operations management console for the overall environment.”

Disaster recovery as a Service (DRaaS): In the event of a natural disaster, a cyber attack or system failure, DRaaS helps to ensure business continuity. It replicates and hosts servers and applications to minimize downtime and disruption.

Security as a Service (SECaas): Even security now is being offered as a service so that small businesses can obtain a number of comprehensive security hardware and software services from one vendor who protects against intrusions, viruses, spyware, Trojans and more.

In addition to these delivery models, Plantronics Device-as-a-Service Pro makes it easy to acquire Plantronics products along with a complete Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution. The program bundles UCaaS offerings and Plantronics UC audio devices from the Voyager®, Savi® and Blackwire® families or the CS540 into flexible 12- 24-or 36-month payment options. With Plantronics Device-as-a-Service Pro, companies easily can scale usage up or down to align with changes in business. They also can match the right audio device with team members’ work styles to enhance the UCaaS experience.

Small businesses are looking to cloud-based on-demand services to improve employee productivity and to strengthen customer engagement.