As more businesses embrace their digital transformation journeys, it’s easy to get lost in the cloud hype and overinflate the possibilities of cloud alone.

Cloud migration is not a one-stop shop to solve all of an organization’s challenges. Instead, technology leaders need to adopt a cloud-smart mindset to maximize value, drive innovation and improve data-driven outcomes.

This approach helps organizations better balance their specific needs while modernizing their cloud strategies. It’s a sweet spot where innovation flourishes and getting there is made significantly easier with trusted, like-minded partners in place.

With this shared mindset, SAS and Microsoft are able to strategically help elevate customers across industries and around the world to the empowered cloud. With SAS’ analytics expertise and Microsoft’s cloud expertise, we are uniquely qualified to accelerate the speed to analytics benefits by removing key barriers customers face.

Since our partnership began in 2020, we’ve continued to find new ways to serve joint customers’ cloud migration and modernization needs, including with new industry-specific solutions, like SAS® Cloud for Intelligent Planning as a part of the Microsoft Cloud for Retail and SAS for Improved Manufacturing Quality for the Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing. We’ve also introduced new SAS® Viya® on Azure integrations across areas like IoT and streaming analytics, enterprise decisioning and ModelOps.

A new Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Microsoft highlights the benefits, costs and risks associated with an investment in SAS Viya on Azure.

Curious about the results? The infographics below show the top findings including a 204% return on investment over three years and a 14-month payback period for a composite organization based on interviewed customers.

Forrester findings from user experience of SAS Viya on Azure
Additional SAS Viya on Azure benefits

Four benefits, in particular, stood out in this study: faster time to market, cost savings, improved efficiency and partnership support.

Increased productivity = millions in savings

Customers noted that prior to investment, they spent far too much time waiting for insights and results from analytics teams. But with SAS Viya on Azure, organizations shared they can generate analytics results faster. This helps business users make more informed, data-driven decisions.

This speed was brought by model building templates and automated modeling processes, open-source integration, stronger computing capacity than physical on-premises infrastructure and the democratization of analytics, which allows even non-technical users to gather insights easily.

This faster time-to-value and increased productivity equals impressive cost savings. Over three years, the faster time to market is worth almost $3.9 million to the composite organization.

We’re bringing analytics down to the end-user. They don’t need to understand what happens behind the scenes. The system is doing all the hard work and making it actionable.

Business strategist, IT professional services

Out with the old and in with the new.

With the retirement of on-premises infrastructure, organizations saw significant cost savings by no longer having to pay for maintenance and operation of the environment.

Switching to the cloud with SAS Viya on Azure, resulted in a $1.3 million savings over three years.

More models in a fraction of the time.

Before using SAS Viya on Azure, customers would spend countless hours building models and tests from scratch. The power of automation has improved organizations’ model development and management of analytics processes. This increased operational efficiency equates to more than $1.2 million in savings to the composite organization over three years.

Better together

SAS and Microsoft provide the expertise that organizations trust. Interviewees highlighted this trust played a key role in their decision to invest in the technology. As organizations look to transform their analytical capabilities, they can have confidence in the guidance of SAS and Microsoft.

The Forrester TEI Study really helps quantify the power of SAS Viya on Azure to today’s information technology leaders. While their teams have historically been viewed as cost centers, they are now often at the forefront of the business with a clear voice in decision-making. Cloud technology and information technology are aligning in significant ways. With SAS Viya on Azure and a cloud-smart mindset at the center, organizations can use fewer resources, unlock more value and drive more confident decisions.

Next steps: Read the full study and learn more about the power of the SAS Microsoft strategic partnership.



About Author

Jay Upchurch

Chief Information Officer

As Chief Information Officer, Jay Upchurch is dedicated to helping customers and partners address today’s increasingly complex software and hardware infrastructure challenges. Leading a global IT organization, his charter is to deliver efficient and consistent operations support across all business functions to help accelerate how companies can unlock value from data and analytics. Prior to joining SAS Upchurch was Vice President of Hospitality and Retail Cloud, overseeing the design, delivery and ongoing operations of Oracle’s global Hospitality and Retail Cloud.

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