If you're involved in anything related to the internet or software you'll be well aware of the 'as a Service' suffix. It's being tacked on to the end of all kinds of things now, Software as a Service (SaaS), Payments as a Service, Desktop as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, Logging as a Service etc etc.
What does 'as a Service' mean?
Generally it refers to products and services (there it is again) that are made available to consumers over the internet. Consumers might be users logging in and using a piece of software (for example Microsoft Office) on the web or they might be software-based client applications that consume data from the service.
As broadband internet access increased and consumer internet access became faster and more stable over recent years it's become possible to offer applications over the internet that would have traditionally been provided by installed desktop software. Microsoft's Office suite is a great example of this move to Software as a Service - rather than paying a one-off licence fee for using an officially released version of the software users now pay a subscription to use the software and are constantly using the latest and patched versions all managed by Microsoft.
Cloud computing is another great example of the as a Service model. Rather than paying for dedicated hardware servers in a data-centre companies can now pay for their infrastructure in a much less rigid way. Servers can be created and taken down in seconds in the cloud via control panels. They are generally operated on a pay as you go basis, companies can now have immediate access to infrastructure that would have needed lots of meetings, coffee and pastries to get moving in the past.
The general model is that products now have a new route to market with more pricing flexibility than would have been available before.
This model has lots of overlap with the leasing model. Software as a Service is like leasing your company van, whilst buying the licence and installing the software is the same as owning that van and looking after it yourself after the warranty is up.
Subscriptions and the 'as a Service' model
Whilst not every 'as a Service' product is paid for on a monthly subscription basis, this is a natural-fit payment model for them. The majority of 'as a Service' product offerings on the market will have a monthly or annual payment plan. This is great for the business offering the service as it leads to consistent income and the ability to manage access to the service automatically with subscription payments.
For business owners it's generally a bonus to be able to spread the payments for services, especially something like a website development or design project as the initial outlay can be prohibitive for some smaller businesses. Some people like to pay outright for things and the shift in mindset to a monthly ongoing contract can be off-putting, although the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks in my opinion.
How is a website a service?
When you think about it a website is the perfect candidate for this model. Business websites can be viewed in the same way that other leased assets are, you get the full use and benefit of it whilst somebody else manages the admin side of things.
Websites need to be refreshed periodically to give the right impression to customers, they can develop problems that aren't straightforward to fix, they can be impacted by external factors that require knowledge and skills that most business owners don't want to or need to know. They are also just the tip of the iceberg with lots of other things going on beneath the surface including hosting, email, SEO, security and compliance.
If all of this could be packaged up and offered 'as a service' the customer could then have just one place to manage all of this, one company to deal with all of it and one monthly cost that covers everything.... that would be brilliant.... so that's what we created.
With a 'Website as a Service' Platform like ours your website is packaged up, supported and maintained and all you have to do is pay a fixed monthly fee. Your site will be monitored and you'll have a fixed monthly time allowance for work on it, including design tweaks, content additions, SEO, component development etc. So no more messing about transferring articles you've written, adding pictures you've taken, sorting out the domain name renewal, paying for your SSL certificate, trying to work out why your email isn't sending from the website.... etc etc.
Get in touch if you'd like to get started on our Platform.