The Agricultural Age moved humans from nomads to farmers. The Industrial Age transitioned society from hammers and chisels to steam engines and cotton gins. The Information Age put the focus on data and computers. Today that reliance on technology has given us options to buy valuable services as an alternative to owning tangible goods. We have entered into a new Service Age.\nIf you don\u2019t have a vehicle and need to get from point A to point B, you can use UBER. If you\u2019re visiting family and need a little more elbow room than a hotel provides, tap into AirBnB. If your car is dirty and you don\u2019t have the time or supplies to do it yourself, call a service like North Carolina-based Spiffy. You don\u2019t need a bucket, a sponge or elbow grease to make your car shine. The Spiffy app summons a fully equipped skilled technician, and your vehicle gets cleaned with environmentally friendly products and techniques. \u00a0\n\u201cWe wanted to disrupt the car wash industry by providing a solution that starts with the customer experience output first and works backward,\u201d Spiffy CEO Scot Wingo said. \u201cBusy lives mean a large percentage of consumers are convenience oriented. Just look at the rise of Amazon Prime \u2014 it\u2019s now in more than 60 million U.S. households. If they can have someone \u2018do it for them\u2019 rather than DIY, they will. We believe other services will go digital, too, because consumers prefer that UBER-like transparency, convenience, immediacy and mobility for services.\u201d\nWith service businesses, society taps into a modern network of trained professionals who solve problems. And when you get right down to it, don\u2019t we all ultimately want answers to our problems without a fuss?\nService applies to CIOs, too\nIf you\u2019re a CIO tasked with delivering data-driven answers that will keep your business sharp, but you\u2019re thwarted by data challenges coupled with staff, infrastructure and experience limitations, remember that you live in the Service Age. My car was dirty: Spiffy solved my problem. The same service-driven business model can apply to IT and analytics, too. I think of it as \u201cResults-as-a-Service.\u201d\nWe\u2019re all familiar with the \u201c-as-a-Service\u201d family in IT: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). In my mind, these more senior members of the \u201c-as-a-Service\u201d family represent the technology plumbing of an enterprise. Results-as-a-Service is the water.\nA Results-as-a-Service team should offer you the opportunity to leverage analytics in a new way. The team collaborates with you, and comes back with the answers you need. It\u2019s a refreshing drink of water when you need it the most. No delay in deploying infrastructure, software or expertise. \u00a0\nCouldn\u2019t we just call a consultant? \nIn years past, you may have been able to call on a lone consultant riding in on her trusty laptop to help solve your data challenges and find answers ... eventually. But data is too unwieldy today. Even the best laptops don\u2019t offer enough computing power to chew through data fast enough, accurately enough or securely enough to meet your needs in an always-connected world.\nThe sheer scale and complexity of data now requires more than a lone ranger. You need a global network of skilled data scientists with diverse expertise backed by a secure, modern computing infrastructure. They are there when you need them, do the job, and leave you with answers to improve your business. \u00a0\u00a0\nBecome nimble in the data stream\nFor most people, data management, business intelligence and predictive analytics don\u2019t fit neatly into the SaaS bucket or the PaaS bucket. Think of SaaS, and you probably envision well-defined business transaction systems. But we don\u2019t operate in a defined, static environment anymore. Data comes from dissimilar sources \u2014 sensors, beacons, RFID tags, cell phones, to name a few \u2014 so analytics must be nimble enough to meet the challenge of finding answers in ever-flowing data streams.\nIs the latest software package going to deliver the answers you need to make your business more competitive if you don\u2019t have the in-house expertise to pull it off? Will the fastest microprocessor help you arrive at your destination on time?\nExpect a new entry in the \u201c-as-a-Service\u201d group. Results-as-a-Service will grow to support that flexible state of being I refer to as \u201cThe Possible.\u201d It\u2019s innovative. And, as with most new things, some people may perceive it as messy and unsettling. Others \u2014 myself included \u2014 view it as an exciting new chapter in the analytics business.\nIs it time to step back and consider what you really need to reach your organization\u2019s goals? Ownership has limitations and comes with additional costs. Expand your horizons and explore your new Possible with Results-as-a-Service.