By becoming highly engaged, consultative partners, providers of everything-as-a-service (XaaS) can drive successful outcomes for their customers.
To better understand how companies are adopting service-based IT, including their objectives, outcomes, challenges, and practices, Deloitte surveyed 600 IT and line-of-business professionals responsible for “everything-as-a-service” (XaaS) at large US organizations.1 XaaS is seen as fueling innovation: Eight in 10 adopters agreed that XaaS has led their organization to reinvent business processes, develop new products and services, invent a new XaaS business model, and even change how they sell. Three in 10 “strongly agree” that XaaS is helping them achieve each of these outcomes—suggesting there’s still room for improvement.
Indeed, eight in 10 XaaS adopters believed their organization could achieve much better business outcomes with XaaS if their vendors acted as more consultative partners. To test this hypothesis, we assigned each respondent to a group that reflects the level of vendor engagement they have: high (29% of respondents), medium (36%), and low (35% of respondents), based on how often they were “satisfied” or “extremely satisfied” with the various consultative activities their XaaS vendors may be providing.2
Strikingly, the more engaged and consultative the vendor relationships are, the better adoption appears to be paying off (see figure). More than half of the XaaS adopters with a high level of vendor engagement strongly agree that XaaS has helped them improve decision-making and collaboration, accelerate experimentation (by allowing them to quickly evaluate new solutions), and reinvent business processes—versus roughly a quarter of the adopters with the least engaged vendors. Having highly consultative vendors also appears to give XaaS adopters an edge when it comes to market-focused activities, including creating new products and services, inventing new business models, growing revenue, and changing how they sell.
It may not be surprising then that adopters with the strongest vendor engagement report the highest competitive advantage: 43% of the “high” engagement group said that XaaS enables them to establish a significant lead over competitors, versus 20% of the “medium” group and merely 14% of the “low” group. Ultimately, adopters with highly consultative vendor relationships are more likely to feel that XaaS has improved their customer experience: 56% of the “high” group strongly agree, versus 41% of the “medium” group, and just 22% of the “low” group.
The flexibility of XaaS means if customers are not satisfied with their experience, they can switch providers fairly easily. Therefore, XaaS providers should focus on how they can fuel successful outcomes for their customers. Becoming highly engaged, consultative partners—not merely hands-off service providers—can play a key role.
Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) industry practice brings together one of the world’s largest group of specialists respected for helping shape many of the world’s most recognized TMT brands—and helping those brands thrive in a digital world.