In recent years, a bewildering array of acronyms about X-as-a-Service has sprung up. Cloud computing has made it possible for UK businesses to tap into an increasingly wide range of services provided over the Internet instead of on premise, with all the advantages that offers.  According to the Cloud Industry Forum,  over three quarters of UK-based business cloud converts use at least two cloud-based services and one in eight have deployed five or more. As UK organisations’ engagement with the cloud deepens, sifting through the various X-as-a-Service options can be confusing, especially since many capabilities are available as more than one option.

[easy-tweet tweet=”A company with its own streaming service powered by a vendor is a good example of #IaaS for #video”]

A good example is video. Video is increasingly a part of the way we do business today. As familiarity with recording and watching work-related videos on our smart phones and other devices grows, so too does the expectation that video, social and mobile tools are becoming commonplace at work. Video is becoming part of the business fabric, used not just for the chief executive’s speeches, but e-learning, knowledge sharing, job interviews, compliance, call monitoring, marketing and more.

So how can businesses get video-ready? There are a number of cloud-based options available today:

Software-as-a-Service

This is the biggest cloud market and the fastest growing too. SaaS lets an organisation license and use third-party applications through nothing more than a web browser, eliminating the need to download or install software. It has eliminated all the related expenses of hardware acquisition, provisioning and maintenance, as well as software installation and version upgrades.

A corporate video portal is a good example here: the SaaS provider takes care of everything video-related, including all the underlying technology, the user experience and the user interface. All the company needs to do is start using the product. Here SaaS offers a one-stop solution for a business who wants an out-of-the-box way to use video for corporate communication and knowledge sharing.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service

IaaS exists for businesses who simply want remote access to data center infrastructure. They want to build their own capabilities and just need the power of the cloud to scale up computational power, storage, and networking. Here, companies are responsible for managing their own software infrastructure including operating system updates as well as their own applications and data; the provider takes care of providing the virtualised hardware provisioning and enables elastic scaling of these resources.

A company with its own streaming service, powered by a vendor like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, is a good example of IaaS for video. The company licenses virtualised infrastructure from the provider, and is then responsible to deploy and manage the software to do everything video related themselves. Both DevOps teams and developers are required to deploy and maintain this solution, bringing in the required developer resources as the solution is scaled up.

X-Platform-as-a-Service

PaaS is roughly halfway between SaaS and IaaS—building on top of IaaS, it adds all the capabilities to handle software and scaling seamlessly, including abstracting, handling the operating system, managing servers and elastic scale logic. PaaS enables organisations to build more sophisticated systems, more rapidly, without worrying about the  underlying infrastructure required. It offers far more flexibility and control than SaaS, and a significantly stronger foundation and support than IaaS to building custom applications.

In recent years we’ve seen the rise of the XPaaS: X stands for a more specific need or domain, taking the PaaS foundation to an even more skilled and specialised tier, whilst maintaining the flexibility required when innovating and building custom applications. It is the rise of the Specialised Cloud Platforms.

For businesses wanting to quickly create their own video applications or workflows, Video Platform as a Service, or VPaaS, is an ideal choice. VPaaS is a self service specialised cloud platform enabling companies of any size and from any industry sector to quickly prototype, build and scale video-centric applications and experiences and easily integrate video as a native data type into existing business workflows. VPaaS provides end to end platform as a service for efficiently working with video as a central data type in your workflows. It can be used in any scenario where video is required to enhance business needs, whether, for highly secure and private environments like government and surveillance or consumer online media & entertainment sites, remote patient care or learning and training applications.

The video industry is evolving fast. By using VPaaS, developers can quickly incorporate capabilities like media ingestion, management, transcoding, delivery, playback, enrichment, and monetisation into their own workflows, whilst staying current with the latest industry standards, remaining compatible with all devices and able to scale seamlessly as demand grows.

[easy-tweet tweet=”#Video is an incredibly powerful tool, offering a highly personal and engaging way to communicate” hashtags=”Cloud”]

Video is an incredibly powerful tool, offering a highly personal and engaging way to communicate and enhance business needs. It’s also a demanding data type to work with, complex and bandwidth-intensive. As the market increasingly demands offerings to include video as a native data type, specialised cloud services are becoming a critical part of UK organisations’ content and product strategies. Choosing the right cloud strategy is the key to successfully adding video to any workflow.