Expert as a Service

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Smart Data Services
Markus Link
celver blog post on Experts as a Service

Why we need to break new ground

In recent years, terms such as Iaas (Infrastructure as a Service), Saas (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) have gained a firm place in the illustrious ranks of common IT acronyms. Now EaaS (Expert as a Service) has joined the ranks.

But what exactly is behind it? An expert as a service? This is likely to cause some IT managers to shake their heads in incomprehension. After all, there are already IT consultant services and many service providers in this area. So why differentiate again?

EaaS - What is it anyway?

The difference to the "classic" IT consulting service lies mainly in the rather selective and more narrowly time-limited approach without long-term project contracts. EaaS therefore follows the same principles as the current cloud services, but does not offer software or app services, but expert know-how as selective support within the framework of a time-defined service. This is designed to be easily integrated into ongoing projects - i.e., detached from standard, long-term service contracts.

In the course of my many years of professional experience, I have experienced many situations in which additional support was needed at short notice for an ongoing IT project. This need was triggered by illness, unforeseen changes in requirements, personnel changes or quite classically - dissatisfaction with the current service. The reasons are as varied as the IT landscape itself.

This is precisely where the idea of EaaS comes in. Instead of concluding further long-term project contracts, the customer can "rent" selective support for a limited period of time with the corresponding service provider. The contracts and services can be customized and integrated into the ongoing project in a supportive manner.

The most important aspects here are flexibility, scalability and the usually rather narrow field of application of the corresponding expert. Likewise, such an expert can bridge the time until a new vacancy is filled - we all know only too well the current market situation when it comes to IT specialists.

Average vacancy rate for IT-specific positions in companies. © Bitkom

Integration of ongoing projects?

So does it make sense to take a closer look at this service? I think so. In the next few years, we will have to reckon with a further tightening of the skilled labor market, and the IT projects that arise will also become not only more extensive, but also more complex - not to mention the rapid further development in the cloud sector and data management. It is now not a "nice to have", but a "must have" that is essential for survival to open up to these new services.  

How often does it happen that, for example, an ongoing project comes to a standstill because finer skills are lacking or the service provider has no further capacities available? Many new services and requirements demand constant training and the acquisition of new knowledge and skills on the part of IT consultants. These challenges, coupled with the current shortage of skilled workers, are increasingly causing bottlenecks, delays or inadequately implemented projects.

Bitkom Managing Director Dr. Bernhard Rohleder comments:

IT specialists are desperately needed across all sectors. The demand for digital skills is also increasing in many traditional professions. This development is reflected in the rapidly growing number of vacant IT jobs. Every vacancy means a loss. A loss of added value, a reduction in innovation - and this has long been true not only for the IT sector, but for the entire economy and the public sector.

This is precisely where our "Expert as a Service" comes into its own. Either as support in ongoing projects, the complexity of which has perhaps been underestimated a little, or to make up for the acute shortage of specialists for a short time, and all of this, as already mentioned at the beginning, without long-term service contracts.

EaaS as a solution to the shortage of skilled workers?

The future will show how the skilled labor market will develop, the prospects look very bleak at the moment, as even the Handelsblatt predicts (you can find the entire article here):

In its "Future of Job" report published at the beginning of the year, the Boston Consulting Group expects Germany to face a shortage of around 1.1 million IT specialists by 2030. New digital business models, the digitalization of administration and the increased use of working from home will increase the demand for workers in IT professions.

One thing is certain in any case, in order to continue to be prepared for the future, we must break new ground in IT and, above all, call on external support. EaaS offers an interesting approach to enriching the established consulting market with a new, more flexible solution and, often as a lean, more flexible solution, to contribute to a small stage victory on the way to digitization. However, one should by no means expect a "quick fix" here. Experts are certainly not available overnight, so a corresponding lead time (usually between 6-8 weeks) should be estimated here as well. An EaaS is not a support or service service that steps in at short notice to correct errors.

So what to do?

It is important to carry out a comprehensive consultation and analysis of the activities in advance. Planning is everything, and this applies to both classic consulting and "Expert as a Service". In any case, planning should be done with the same approach as for a classic project. With sufficient lead time and a precise target plan. Even the best EaaS service can do nothing against a lack of planning or chaotic conditions.

We at celver AG will be happy to advise you on your questions and find the right scheme for you. Just contact us.

This blog marks the start of a series on the topic of "Expert as a Service". In the following articles in the coming weeks, we will look at concrete application scenarios and practical examples.


Blog post author

Markus Link
Markus Link
Senior Account Manager
celver AG

With over 20 years of professional experience in IT, Markus has supported numerous customers from a wide range of industries in both national and international environments and gained profound insights into the requirements, but also the challenges of a modern and competitive IT landscape. In the process, he has also worked for various US corporations such as IBM, EMC/Dell and Apple.

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