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SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, and now…WaaS?

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SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, and now…WaaS?

Workforce-as-a-Service? Why not? But these acronyms are getting silly.

Just when you thought the “XaaS” craze was receding a bit, along comes the “human cloud” - Workforce-as-a-Service (WaaS).  Similar to its sister models – SaaS, IaaS and PaaS – it has been created to provide diverse, scalable on-demand service to CIOs and similar technology or operations managers.

While outsourcing (BPO, for instance) and other flexible workforce models have been around for a very long time, WaaS is something of a different animal.  Rather than providing a homogenous, repetitive function (as with BPO), WaaS is designed to provide a “configurable” managed workforce to execute dynamically anywhere, anytime.

"WaaS is designed to provide a “configurable” managed workforce to execute dynamically anywhere, anytime."

A whitepaper produced by WaaS provider OnForce identifies the “distinct characteristics” of WaaS:

  •      Its objective cannot be achieved without a highly sophisticated “technology-based work intermediation platform” and other complex services.
  •     Businesses have a legally defined relationship with the platform services provider, not with the individual workers as in Online Staffing. In effect, businesses are purchasing a service and set of outcomes from the platform service provider who acts as a “general contractor.”
  •     The platform provider is responsible for sufficiency of actual contract workforce / workers and sufficiency of their performance.
  •     The service agreement between business and platform provider is geared to outcomes and often governed by Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
  •     The service work execution is “on demand” (whether the impetus is the business client, the customer, or even automated trigger).
  •     Platform providers capture service metrics and provide analytics.

“It is one thing for businesses to engage individual contractors to perform specific tasks or projects. It is another thing if a business needs to engage large numbers of contractors in a distributed workforce that must execute on a common set of objectives but in different physical locations (and possibly in a dynamic manner—any time of the day.”

Check out this recent article at CIO.com by Sharon Florentine for an interview with OnForce CEO Peter Cannone.  Who knows?  WaaS may work for your business, too.


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