The latest study from computing giants IBM revealed that there are substantially more benefits than mere cost savings for businesses that take up cloud software.
According to the IBM Center for Applied Insights' global survey of more than 800 IT and business decision makers, there are marked differences between the range of advantages on offer to organisations that actively lead in the adoption of cloud software, as opposed to those that simply search for cost efficiency.
While roughly half of the businesses that use Software-as-a-Service (or SaaS, a catch-all term for cloud-based software) enjoy improved cost savings and a competitive advantage, "leading enterprises" can explore another level of benefits. These include more effective collaboration, improved customer experiences and greater innovation.
IBM's survey identified a distinct Pacesetters segment, which makes up 19 per cent of the survey population and represents those at the very forefront of SaaS adoption. The detailed findings from the survey reveal the extent of the competitive advantage these pacesetters can enjoy.
For example, Pacesetters are 79 per cent more likely to have increased collaboration across their organisation through SaaS, compared to the rest of the respondents.
Pacesetters are also twice as likely to have used analytics to translate big data into workable insights in strategic planning, and twice as likely to have improved innovation through SaaS.
Craig Hayman, general manager of IBM industry solutions, hopes the results of the survey will inspire organisations to become SaaS leaders.
"It's common knowledge that deploying SaaS broadly has economic advantages, but the truly innovative companies have recognized that SaaS delivers real competitive advantage to fuel top-line growth, as well," he said in a January 28 statement.
"Whether they are using it to enter new markets, transform or create entirely new business models, or improve relationships with their customers and suppliers, pacesetting organizations are embracing SaaS in a meaningful way."