Cloud technology may drive fast and agile change, but technical unknowns and strategic misdirection can lessen the impact of any degree of success. So how can businesses get on the right path to high-value transformation? The answer is proactive, ongoing, and personalized guidance, according to a study conducted by Forrester Consulting.

When looking to the cloud to improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and meet customer demand with flexibility and speed, companies throw open the doors to a world of opportunities. But first, they need to become familiar with the landscape and available resources, discover capabilities that can benefit them most, and know how to scale the technology to fuel long-term, sustainable growth.

Unfortunately, most internal IT organizations are too lean to manage it all. They do not have the time and budget needed to scrutinize road map strategies for the cloud and concentrate on continuous improvement after an initial implementation.

The Forrester Consulting study commissioned by SAP, “The Total Economic Impact™ of SAP Preferred Success,” presents a solution to this common dilemma. In its assessment of the SAP Preferred Success offering, the third-party global market research company revealed that access to success resources and customized guidance can yield a 380% ROI in cloud technology investments over three years.

Fostering Adoption and Optimization for Long-Term Growth

To evaluate the potential economic impact of continuous cloud services, Forrester surveyed four companies actively using SAP Preferred Success. The participants’ experiences were then aggregated to create a single composite organization to determine the offering’s total economic impact (TEI).

In this TEI study, Forrester emphasized how SAP Preferred Success helps SAP customers adopt, consume, and operate cloud solutions with greater ease, speed, and strategic value. Over a three-year period, this kind of guidance was shown to impact how businesses can quickly transform to meet the needs of a dynamic marketplace in four fundamental ways.

1. Shrink Implementation Time by Two Months

With the assistance of customer success managers (CSMs), in-depth training materials, and support tools, surveyed businesses cited that their implementations and updates were completed faster and with lower risk. The more familiar they became with the cloud landscape and best-practice methodologies, the more confident their organizations were in supporting a cloud-based IT model. For example, deployment impediments and bugs were detected and addressed proactively, cloud investments were safeguarded, and technologies and capabilities that provide relevant benefits were chosen quickly without the fear of missing opportunities.

2. Accelerate Time to Value with Faster Releases

The exercise of researching answers to new questions can delay planning by approximately 30%, pushing out the delivery of the solution and realization of its value. Businesses that leverage SAP Preferred Success during planning, deployment, and release preparation can add two more months of additional benefits each year after the initial implementation. Furthermore, those gains can be achieved without disrupting the everyday work experiences of internal teams.

3. Facilitate Innovation with Collaboration and Insight

Interviewed organizations mentioned their interactions with customer communities and access to in-depth training materials through regular strategic reviews and ongoing informal exchanges with CSMs. They viewed this experience as a turning point in their ability to focus on their business priorities and identify opportunities to improve processes and implement new enhancements. Plus, based on Forrester’s calculation, gains in process optimization could raise productivity by, on average, 30% when the time saved is reinvested in constructive work.

4. Resolve Incidents Faster and More Productively

With access to a dedicated CSM from SAP Preferred Success as a point of contact, interviewees from this TEI study reported resolving issues more quickly. Incidents that they raised were prioritized in SAP’s system to meet enhanced service-level agreements, supported by the CSM acting as their advocate, and connected to relevant experts to expedite resolution. This support reduced priority one and priority two incidents by half in the third year after the initial implementation while accelerating priority two incident resolution times by at least 40% and reducing effort by 30%.

Creating a Low-Risk, Flexible Foundation for Transformation

SAP Preferred Success is a premium add-on to SAP Enterprise Support, cloud editions. In an earlier TEI study covering the SAP Enterprise Support offering, Forrester revealed that surveyed businesses felt they were well-equipped to move from on-premise solutions to the cloud smoothly. The offering’s prescriptive guidance enabled organizations to implement cloud solutions from SAP and find new ways to safeguard processes, optimize operations, and unlock innovations through continuous enhancements.

But as Forrester emphasized in this TEI study on SAP Preferred Success, businesses that are unfamiliar with cloud solutions may want personalized assistance and advice on how to adopt, consume, and operate the technology. This is where an add-on, particularly SAP Preferred Success, can be helpful.

SAP Preferred Success supports a combination of outcomes that can be critical for companies looking to transition and evolve with cloud technology. But more importantly, those advantages create an environment that empowers organizations to transform at their pace and toward their vision with less risk and greater flexibility.

How can SAP Preferred Success help amplify your potential in the cloud? Find out by reading the full economic impact study by Forrester, “The Total Economic Impact™ of SAP Preferred Success.”

Lisa Spangler is global vice president and chief product owner for SAP Preferred Success at SAP.