The cloud is increasingly becoming a choice that is catalyzing innovation and digital transformation for organizations worldwide. Yet, most companies are only beginning to realize the cloud’s vast potential for deployment scale, process efficiency, workforce productivity, and development speed – opening them up to the possibility of enabling long-term, sustainable business growth.

At a time when businesses are working diligently to rejuvenate themselves by pioneering new business models, products, services, and experiences, operations optimization and continuous enhancement have never been more critical. However, services that support these needs are often overlooked when purchasing cloud subscriptions.

Are businesses making a significant mistake by delaying proactive planning and readiness support services for another day or skipping them all together? The Forrester Consulting study commissioned by SAP, “The Total Economic Impact™ of SAP Enterprise Support, Cloud Editions,” indicated the answer is a resounding “yes” in its analysis of SAP Enterprise Support, cloud editions – revealing a 30% higher process optimization rate over three years.

Revealing the Full Potential of the Cloud

To better understand the benefits and costs associated with support services, Forrester interviewed five businesses that are using or have used any element from the cloud editions of the SAP Enterprise Support offering. The third-party global market research company engaged in an unbiased survey of the participants’ experiences and aggregated their insights into a single composite organization to calculate quantitative benefits.

The TEI study highlighted how SAP Enterprise Support, cloud editions enable SAP customers to move from on-premise solutions to the cloud more smoothly. The offering gave prescriptive guidance to the surveyed businesses as they implemented cloud solutions from SAP and searched for ways to enable their business, safeguard their processes, optimize operations, and unlock innovations through continuous enhancements.

How does this experience impact the way SAP customers advance their overall digital transformation journey in the cloud over a three-year period? Here are key insights that Forrester uncovered in its research.

Benefit #1: Reduced Implementation Costs by 27%

By working with a team of SAP experts and support specialists, the surveyed businesses felt more prepared to adopt the cloud and have confidence in their investment. The more informed they were about the capabilities of the cloud solutions, the more capable they were in assuring user readiness, accelerating adoption, and managing expanding use. In addition, emerging risks could be mitigated to safeguard the performance of their internal and partner project teams in realizing the value of their cloud solutions.

Benefit #2: Derived 20% More Efficiency in Internal IT Teams

When organizations understand the value of the technologies they choose to purchase, they are more likely to embrace best practices that drive greater efficiency. The companies surveyed by Forrester are no exception to this rule. By leveraging SAP Enterprise Support, cloud editions, research participants could manage IT incidents more effectively and perform application support activities with well-defined service-level agreements.

Benefit #3: Released Preparations with 25% Less Effort

SAP customers interviewed for Forrester’s research mentioned having access to enablement materials through SAP Enterprise Support, cloud editions. This allowed them to quickly adapt existing processes to meet changing market needs. As a result, organizations, on average, avoided two weeks of additional effort for each new release of a cloud solution.

Setting the Foundation for Fast Time to Value

Perhaps one of the most exciting findings in Forrester’s research is how the combination of reduced cost, greater efficiency, and less effort to prepare for new releases accelerates the overall time to value of cloud solutions. This impact of SAP Enterprise Support, cloud editions is particularly critical for companies that demand more frequent innovation cycles and faster realization of expected outcomes.

One of the project managers interviewed by Forrester for this TEI study shared that the offering enabled an oil and gas company to launch its move to the cloud two months earlier than expected in an already aggressive timeline. Other interview participants indicated the same experience, in which, on average, SAP Enterprise Support, cloud editions helped deliver initiatives nearly one month earlier for a six-month deployment.

Could your business gain the same advantage in your move to the cloud? Find out by reading the full economic impact study from Forrester, “The Total Economic Impact™ of SAP Enterprise Support, Cloud Editions.”

Keith Lamont is vice president of Customer Engagement and Experience at SAP.