Opportunities in the Emerging As-a-Service Economy—Get on Board

Business is hurtling to a new service delivery era where unlocking value trumps cost-cutting.


In the “As-a-Service” (AaS) economy, enterprises gain new power to plug into services that deliver simplified, intelligent operations. But roughly two-thirds of businesses appear unprepared for what’s coming, according to new research sponsored by Accenture and published by HfS Research.

HfS Research surveyed 716 enterprise service buyers, advisors and service provider executives for insight into As-a-Service perceptions and priorities. Read on for more information and to learn how you can position your business for success.

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“Achieving As-a-Service requires simplification—removing unnecessary complexity, poor processes and manual intervention to make way for a more nimble and proactive way of running a business.”
—HfS Research

The As-A-Service What, Why & How

In the past, the focus of operations outsourcing was primarily cost reduction and incremental process improvement. In the emerging As-a-Service Economy, leaders will be more agile and dynamic, with on-demand, plug-and-play services precisely targeted to both individual consumers and businesses.

The report identities the following eight ideals for moving from legacy operations to the AaS economy.

Key Findings

Forward thinkers across the industry seek catalysts for acceleration beyond traditional labor arbitrage and transaction processing into a more collaborative, entrepreneurial and value-driven business world. Recent insights we discovered include:

  • Large enterprises kicking the can down the road—Seven of 10 large enterprises do not expect their core enterprises to be delivered AaS for at least five years.

  • Smarter analytics, automation and proactive operations staff hold keys—Yet, one in three buyers has no plan around analytics, and very few buyers are investing in robotic process automation.

  • Leaders want change, delivery staff do not—About 53 percent of operations leaders view AaS as critical, compared to just 29 percent of middle-managers and delivery staff.

  • Service providers much more tuned into the importance of As-a-Service—About 83 percent of providers view AaS as critical, compared to 35 percent of enterprise buyers.

  • Marketing prioritized over domain investments—About 45 percent of service providers lack focus on making real investments in platforms and outcome-driven revenue models.

  • Business Cloud holds the most promise for delivering new value—Some 44 percent of senior executives would be willing to write off IT legacy investments and move straight to the cloud if they could find a solution that provides speed to value.