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As companies continue to embrace software-as-a-service (SaaS) for the most strategically critical applications in their businesses, 52% say they are deploying SaaS for customer relationship management (CRM), making it the most widely adopted application of SaaS, according to a study from Avanade.

Other strategically important application areas include business intelligence, enterprise resource planning, collaboration software, and financial systems.

Some 40% of companies of companies surveyed say customer relationship management is a crucial differentiator for their business, while 37% cite business intelligence systems.


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Below, deployment highlights among companies that use SaaS applications:

  • 65% say they have generated a reasonable return on investment from their deployment.
  • 90% say their SaaS deployments have been successful, but 54% would have done a more rigorous analysis of costs and business benefits before deploying SaaS-based applications.
  • 30% report more than one day of lost business due to a service outage.
  • 93% say their SaaS experience has been successful and more than 62% plan to increase their SaaS use in the next year.
  • Globally, there is a 2:1 ratio of companies that prefer SaaS delivered internally (or as private services) versus from third-party service providers.

About the data: The Cloud Computing survey was conducted by Kelton Research on behalf of Avanade. The 502 respondents include C-level executives, business leaders, and IT decision-makers from 16 countries in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

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