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New SaaS study shows how "Pacesetters" distance themselves from the rest

There's no question that Software as a Service (SaaS) is here to stay as a model for quickly and cost-effectively deploying new IT capabilities inside of and outside an organization.  But, as in all aspects of business, some companies are finding greater advantage than others.  What's special about the organizations who exhibit the highest level of SaaS adoption and who are gaining competitive advantage through their efforts?  

A study by the IBM Center for Applied Insights released today at the Connect conference (pdf, no registration required) categorized the respondents according to their usage of SaaS.  It provides a deep look into the roughly 19% who they classified as "Pacesetters," uncovering some interesting details that underscore the transformative capabilities of SaaS solutions.

Here are just a few highlights from the study:
Pacesetters see IT and LOB collaboration as a benefit

In Pacesetter organizations, nearly 3/4 of IT respondents view LOB as a strategic partner for SaaS (3x more than in other enterprises) and LOB respondents have a similar view of IT. So while it may be tempting for employees to view SaaS as a way to skirt around the IT department, these rogue deployments are likely returning a far smaller return than had they collaborated with IT.

Pacesetters are those who use SaaS broadly and for competitive advantage

61% say that SaaS has increased both internal and external collaboration
68% use SaaS to improve the customer experience
71% of Pacesetters have reduced time to market of products/services by using SaaS

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