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Aladdin, Digital Transformation and Everything-as-a-service

Kaustubh Patwardhan I Director – SE, Asia & HK, Ashnik
Singapore, 22 Aug 2019
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22-Aug-2019

These days I feel like Aladdin from the Arabian Nights. There is that special magical Genie at my disposal at every step of my life providing almost all services as and when I need it.

I can rent out an Airbnb apartment (Home-as-a-service). Before I start my day, I will ask my Google Home (for some it might be Alexa or Siri) to check daily weather and news around the globe (Conversation-as-a-Service). Google Home would have already applied its AI to customize news for me and would share only relevant information with me (News or Info-as-a-Service). While am enjoying my breakfast, I tune in to my favorite music on Spotify (Music-as-a-Service). I would use Grab or Uber to book my car to the meeting (Transportation-as-a-service). While in a meeting, I will connect to my Google Drive (Storage-as-a-service) to access my slides, then I’ll use Google Slides (Software-as-a-Service) to present. I feel hungry and use Deliveroo or Grab Food to order my freshly made lunch (Food-as-a-service). In the afternoon, I log in to my Virtual Bank (Banking-as-a-service) and there a personal assistant chatbot (Over-The-Counter-as-a-service) is ready to help me with my queries. I want to book my travel and I log in to Expedia to again meet a digitally assisted chatbot who’ll handle my flights and hotels (Travel Agent-as-a-Service).

When I reflect on this, I am practically living Lifestyle-as-a-service in this digitally transformed world. Every bit of our lives tends to be digitalized and businesses build “as a service” whenever it is possible.

Digital transformation has changed not just technologies but the entire process of how we exist and how we do business. It seems like overnight, Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) has changed and how numerous industries are running – from sales to transportation, and everything in between. In the XaaS rabbit hole, we’ve moved far beyond software and data delivery. It seems as if XaaS is becoming a preferred method of moving through life. Businesses have been successfully strategizing the cloud computing ways to change consumers’ mindset to move them to XaaS way of lifestyle.

Here are top 5 reasons why businesses find the ‘as-a-Service’ model relevant to grow their business:

Cloud and Mobility Rules
As consumers move towards digital consumption, businesses need to offer better. Hence the need to go with the mobile-first, cloud-focused environment – keeping everything on the cloud where it is accessible and updated 24/7. In doing so, they allow employees to work efficiently without sacrificing security or quality of work.

Democratization of Infrastructure
XaaS allows the democratization of infrastructure in almost every possible way. Anyone can choose the services they want, with little to no technical skills or knowledge. It’s changing business models and opening a tremendous opportunity for both large and small businesses alike.

Flexibility
Flexibility and agility are must-haves for any company’s digital transformation. Legacy systems simply cannot change fast enough to keep up with the changes the modern business world go through. Just like our customers want increasingly personalized services, businesses do, too. XaaS allows companies to change on demand, as they see fit — whether that means personalizing a process, choosing an entirely new XaaS vendor, or scaling up or down to fit a changing business season or climate. This is useful for businesses of any size, in any industry.

Cost-Effectiveness is Crucial
Businesses everywhere are zeroing in on the bottom line. The good thing about XaaS is that it usually requires little investment on the front-end and allows users to grow or expand its level of service as needed as time goes on. This allows companies to invest money in business strategy, rather than infrastructure and maintenance—infrastructure that will likely change quickly in today’s market regardless. In addition, XaaS does more than cut costs. It also holds the potential to drive growth and revenue for companies who can use it creatively and effectively.

Accessibility
Digital Transformation is about bringing new experiences to consumers. For that, innovation and Fast-Fail approach are essential where businesses need to try out different software, solutions in a quick way and scale-up or disregard it as per the results. The great thing about XaaS is that you can easily do that — and you can also eliminate the risk of making that decision because you can cancel the service easily if it doesn’t deliver as you had hoped.

Digitalization has essentially put every information about us and of the entire world into powerful machines. With more information being captured through IoT devices, GPS, smartphones, tabs etc which is topped with further computing capabilities like AI and Machine Learning, this derived data becomes more meaningful. In turn, empowering businesses to create newer service experiences. We don’t need to own any fixed liabilities. We need to focus on experiences being deployed as-a-service.

With the Digitalization grasping and easing our chores as an end consumer, why shouldn’t I feel like Aladdin in this transformed, everything-as-a-Service world?

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  • Kaustubh Patwardhan is Ashnik’s Director for Southeast Asia (SEA) and Hong Kong. He leads sales, strategy and business development for the region. Kaustubh joined in 2013 and heads Ashnik’s SEA enterprise open source business with responsibility for strategic planning, channels and partners, sales and operations. He has been instrumental in building Ashnik’s culture which is centered on agility and innovation, aligning it to the core ideology of open source itself. Besides playing a key role in Ashnik’s multi-fold sales growth trajectory, his key accomplishments are building a solid partner ecosystem across the region and being highly responsive on customer engagements.

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