Research as a Service (RaaS) is an important concept gaining traction in today’s age of increasing flexibility and scalability in software development. RaaS is a sub-branch of the industry trend of Everything as a Service, or being able to use reusable software components across a network(s).
Nitor launched the radical concept of Research as a Service (RaaS) during HIMSS 2019. I am glad to say that the response for RaaS was overwhelming, during both test marketing and the actual launch. Many organizations and professionals congratulated us for the concept and the significant value customers stand to derive from RaaS.
This blog is the first of a three-part blog series. This first blog is intended to be a short introduction to the concept of research as an offering, the RaaS culture, and its significance in the world of software development. I intend to popularize the exact value proposition for each of the customer segments Nitor serves, as well as instigate thought on how RaaS can be applied to customer situations. The second and third blogs will describe the applicability and significance of RaaS for large, medium, and small ISVs & Enterprises.
Let me begin by saying that the seeds for RaaS were sowed almost 3 years ago. I do not exaggerate when I state that it does take this long to build the culture of RaaS; what seems effortless today is actually the culmination of strategic steps and investments done to arrive at this position. We achieved this by taking into account various parameters of RaaS culture.
The first parameter we considered was Value Addition. Building value is a critical yet endless pursuit. One cannot add value without thinking out of box. The next important consideration was the number and types of investments. People generally think of investments in terms of cash: RaaS, however, needs leadership to invest time with a cross section of contributors while ensuring that the mind set of leaders and contributors is aligned with business needs. This investment is perpetual in nature and needs keen initiative from leadership.
After this came the factor of our unique positioning in the market. Differentiating ourselves is of utmost importance in this cluttered marketplace. During every engagement, we proactively invest in at least one parameter that differentiates us. We remind our customers to evaluate us on that basis and not just by the expected deliverables. This is why customers vouch for our value addition approach. Finally, the last element of RaaS culture is foresight, or planning for future needs. This is aptly illustrated by our acquisition of SpotOn Software, a software company specializing in outsourced product development and enterprise solutions. This strategic move was aimed at bolstering our AI capabilities. Today, we can comfortably say that we have the credentials to build Gen3 and Gen4 AI.
It is worth noting that RaaS as a concept is relatively new. RaaS is designed on the concept of contributing knowledge and delivering an exponential impact for our customers. These research services intend to streamline and automate the IT aspect of research. It can be summarized as the journey from Unknown to Known. The diagram below explains the components of RaaS in more detail.
Because RaaS is such an extensive and all-encompassing concept, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for it. The RaaS strategy orientation changes depending on the type of the customer. The RaaS approaches and strategies for Software Product Development Companies (ISVs) and Enterprises will be covered in more detail in subsequent blogs of this series.
Note that everything that we do can be challenged; we are ready to embrace this with open arms. This is both a joy and challenge of RaaS: testing ourselves is the only constant, thus ensuring that we think out of box every time.