Research as a Service: Ripe and Ready for Prime Time

Research as a Service: Ripe and Ready for Prime Time
Research consumed as a service interface that can help companies connect better with their customers.

Summary: Research as a Service: Help companies connect better with their customers
By research as a service (RaaS), we mean the ability to:
• Deliver research services through a range of models — from traditional full-time-equivalent-(FTE)-based to “pay per use.”
• Marry traditional and emerging IT services and standard research capabilities to offer scalable and cost-efficient solutions.

Ability to architect high-quality, relevant and timely research services in variable pricing models.
Organizations can use the RaaS primary value propositions — scalability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness

The RaaS Core Value Proposition
-Given the fixed volume and periodic updates, the managed services model is ideally suited to basic maintenance work
-The FTE-based model suits firms with defined research products that are complex in nature
-Firms with limited time and resources to invest in new product development can partner with mature research providers

Research as a Service: Success

Leading RaaS providers will need to exhibit the following attributes:
• Willingness to experiment: The RaaS model requires a mature relationship between provider and client that affords each partner the freedom and space to pilot variations on the RaaS theme. The provider and client need to be on a strong footing in terms of their understanding about how the RaaS model works. It works smoothly only when requirements from each are crystal-clear. Also, both sides must have a strong and established relationship with high levels of confidence, credibility and mutual respect for each other’s capabilities.
• Ability to operate at scale: While core research capabilities are a necessary condition for vendors to offer the RaaS model, having sufficient headroom to grow and expand capability is essential. Scale allows service providers to handle volatilities arising out of varying demand patterns from research service buyers. Scale permits vendors to optimize investments in technology, talent and infrastructure, not to mention providing a buffer to withstand demand volatility.

For consumers of research services, the following is essential:
• A virtual mindset: The customer must be comfortable taking a hands-off approach to ownership of people, processes and technology, leaving these elements to a trusted provider. An ideal way to start testing the RaaS model is on a pilot basis in areas where the consumer of research services has sufficient confidence in the capabilities of the provider and trust in its ability to meet business needs today and tomorrow and to meet or exceed expectations. As the risk in this model is borne mostly by the provider, organizations that consume research services should carefully evaluate service provider capabilities to deploy the RaaS model.