For services businesses, the ability to create differentiation, build a competitive edge, and optimize efficiency has lagged behind the go-to-market motion. Rethinking the processes, tools, and resources needed to support a modern services organization represents an opportunity to turn a marginal part of the business into a major contributor and differentiator. In this research note, we introduce a conceptual framework for managing services organizations as a business: Service-as-a-Business or SaaB.

SaaB is a reference model that brings together key capabilities for running any services business efficiently and effectively. It encompasses the business management needs of services organizations, including professional services as well as services teams within product companies. Crucially, it connects services delivery management with the financial and business discipline needed to ensure success.

SaaB details the systems, processes, and people involved in delivering high-quality services on-time and on-budget, integrating key business management and financial capabilities, and giving services organizations the ability to meet or exceed customer expectations.

These systems include capabilities like Project Management, Customer Success, and Services CPQ, as well as legacy ERP structures reimagined specifically for services, such as Revenue Recognition, Billing, Financials, and FP&A.