Transformation as a Service: How Managing Transformations Becomes a Service

Transformations always require money, time, and resources. Is it possible to outsource such an enormous project to a service provider? Transformation expert Michael Meissner says: Yes. A standardized transformation set-up leads to improved process quality and speed while enabling customers to continue focusing on their core business.

What does Transformation as a Service stand for and why is it an interesting offering for companies?

Transformation as a Service – short TaaS - is a standardized project approach that enables customers to accelerate their transformation set-up.

This is of special importance, as companies are acting within a VUCA world. VUCA is the acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. The pressure to act is enormous, since the VUCA environment increasingly confronts companies with business-critical transformation projects. Often, these require the set-up of resources, processes, tools, and organizational structures - a cost-intensive mammoth task.

However, for many companies it constitutes a major challenge to adapt or transform – consequently they fail or even disappear from the market. In other words, the lifespan of companies diminishes: At this point, it is very impressive to have look at the S&P 500. While in 1965 companies were listed for an average of 33 years in the S&P 500, in 2016 it was only for 24 years. By 2027, the average listing period is predicted to drop to 12 years. This implies the substitution of half of today’s S&P 500 [cf. Innosight].

How does TaaS respond to these market demands? And how does TaaS work?

TaaS provides the answer on how to accelerate transformations, thus avoiding the occurrence of the above-described scenario. While the management of transformations out of own resources requires a long-term set-up of specific transformation know-how and personnel, our standardized transformation approach enables a transformation set-up within a short period of time.

The basic idea is to perform roll-out based transformations for the customer by using reusable transformation assets. Like this, we ensure that our customers move smoothly and efficiently from the actual to the desired target state. For this purpose, we have developed the Transformation Cycle, which contains 8 transformation phases that must be passed during IT transformations.

The maturity assessment has been developed to preliminarily evaluate the customer transformation readiness, and to precisely define the optimal starting point within the transformation cycle.

What is the USP of TaaS?

There are four essential elements:

  1. The plug-in & unplug principle. Basically, TaaS works as follows: After having defined the transformation project together with the customer, a team of transformation experts takes over the transformation ramp-up, steering and realization (plug-in). For this we have developed state-of-the-art tools & methods such as software- or robot-based process automation. During the whole time, we are in close contact to the customer, keeping him/her informed, for example through regular status reports. Having achieved the transformation goal, implemented processes are transferred to the customer's line organization, ensuring a smooth transition to the business-as-usual (unplug).
  2. Additionally, our security approach includes aspects of cybersecurity, information security, and data protection for every transformation step. Like this we can create a reliable security foundation for transformation projects.
  3. A further USP refers to low investment costs. Although we mutually plan the transformation with our customers, customers do not have the necessity to manage the transformation out of their own resources. Consequently, they can continue focusing on their core business. This keeps organizational set-up costs for transformation know-how and personnel development low.
  4. The greatest USP is the transformation toolbox. For each transformation step we have developed proven and ready-to-use tools and methods, like for instance software-based process automations, automated documentation of transformation processes, the implementation of software robotics, workflow automations or automation of documentation systems and reporting, process mining tools, data base management, standardized project management tools and so on.

What is the difference between the cost bottom line of independent transformation management and the commissioning of a consultancy?

Managing transformations out of own resources requires long-term investments in knowledge and personnel development. This also bears the risk, that neither knowledge nor personnel is available on time. With TaaS customers can continue their daily business while at the same time having access to a large pool of transformation expertise. Furthermore, project costs only occur during the time of the transformation project, no large investments are needed.

What is the differentiation between regular project management and TaaS?

Taas includes project management as well as transformation specific methodologies. The first transformation phases comprise mainly strategical and conceptual work. The final transformation phases are more operational, as we take over the transformation ramp-up, steering and realization by using state-of-the-art and transformation-specific tools & methods.

What speaks against managing transformation programs out of own resources?

Transformations are usually limited in time. A wide variety of tools and methods are used to ensure an efficient process. Training and onboarding of own employees is very costly and acquired skills are often not relevant for the key business. Focus on your core business!