[X]aaS, The Outsource of Everything

[blank] as a Service. There are so many XaaS services available now that we are running out of letters:

  • AaaS – Authentication as a Service
  • BaaS – Back-End as a Service
  • CaaS – Communication as a Service`
  • DaaS – Desktop or Data as a Service
  • EaaS – Encryption as a Service
  • FaaS – Failure as a Service [I know, couldn’t believe this one myself]
  • …and so on.

As much as I have an issue with buzz-words and inventing acronyms, I cannot deny the trend that; Unless it’s a core function, don’t do it yourself.

Retailers should outsource payment acceptance, insurance companies should outsource cyber due diligence, and every business should outsource some of its security risk management.

Sure you can change the oil in your own car, you may even be able to perform some basic plumbing, but why would you? There’s an excellent chance that a professional can do it better, and in the long-run cheaper, than you. What’s more important; saving money, or saving your time? I guess the answer is different for everyone, but a business does not have the luxury of experimentation to the degree we do. False economy, while relatively trivial for us, can be make or break to a business.

I see a time where the economies of scale, combined with the abundance of competition will enable service providers to give far better service at a much lower price-tag that you could possibly hope to achieve in-house. Doing one thing and doing it well should automatically provide the necessary scalability of service, appropriate innovation and business transformation capability necessary to run a competitive venture in the 2010s and beyond.

Even in the cybersecurity industry, there is significant confusion on how to choose the right vendor or technology, and this will only increase exponentially in the era of The Outsourcing of Everything. Inevitably there will come along a new type of service provider; the Service Provider Integrator. In the same way you cannot manage your security if you have 15 different management stations, you cannot run your business if your service providers are not performing seamlessly, and in full support of your business goals.

In the Information Age, where entire businesses can be run in the virtual world, a competitive edge lasts weeks, not years, and only the organisations who can effective balance risk and innovation, and then transform their business processes in support of that innovation, will succeed. And with everything outsourced, only the companies who are best able to chose, then integrate the most effective and flexible services, can hope to compete. The best Service Provider Integrators will be able to create entire white-labeled businesses from any concept.

In one of my earlier blogs; How Information Security Enables Transformational Change, I made the statement; “Information in context is knowledge, success however is in the correct application of that knowledge.”. The drive towards specialisation will accelerate in every service to be provided. It will be the organisations that are best able to correlate both the management information gathered over years of providing a specific services to multiple organisations, along with the ability to apply those skills to prospective clients, who will run away with the business. This will eventually create new Googles and Amazons, but they are where they are for a reason;

Good service.

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Update 22-Oct-13 09:23: Don’t normally add bad language to my posts, but this is too funny not to; www.foaas.com. My thanks to Steve R!

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