A new study out of Accenture finds even the most tech-savvy companies are still struggling to get things right.

The Accenture research study with more than 40 senior executives from 30 high tech and technology enabled companies. Discussions were built upon the hypotheses outlined in a paper from early 2011 , “Where the Cloud Meets Reality: Operationally Enabling the Growth of New Business Models,” and sought to understand how companies were operationalizing new XaaS models alongside their traditional, non-cloud offering.

The study looked at Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service or Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud-based businesses (identified collectively as XaaS, or “anything as a service”).

The research revealed that virtually all companies are struggling to deal with the operational complexity caused by XaaS, and by new business models more broadly. "The reality is that building the new XaaS capabilities required to succeed and embracing a services-centric mentality is hard work that touches every corporate function," the report says. "We found that in most cases the launch of new XaaS businesses far outpaces a company’s operational ability to deliver and scale."

The report identified 10 recommendations across four major focus areas that industry leaders should embrace to launch and scale XaaS models successfully.

The four major areas are:

  • First, the logic flow and order of these recommendations is critical. Success starts with achieving business model clarity as the necessary precursor.
  • Second, companies must identify and build distinctive XaaS capabilities and incorporate them into a cohesive operating model; research identified eight unique XaaS capabilities.
  • Third, companies must develop and agree to a segmented operating model approach at the most senior levels of the company.
  • Finally, companies require a new governance model to handle this complexity. A critical element of this model is the creation of a new role, which Accenture calls a chief operational architect.

The full report is available here: http://www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/insight-cloud-meets-reality-scaling-succeed-new-business-models.aspx