As Web-based applications have become critical to many business operations, a number of enterprises have grown frustrated with the performance and reliability of the applications and have turned to outsourcing some aspects of Web applications management and support. Akamai pioneered the approach of offering application acceleration as a service rather than as a hardware-based solution. To assess and quantify the business benefits of Akamaiâ€™s Web Application Accelerator (WAA), IDC conducted in-depth interviews with IT staff members of eight organizations using WAA. A structured set of questions was used to capture the costs and benefits directly associated with WAA. The study is based on standard IDC return-on-investment (ROI) methodology, which is used to calculate the benefits of cost savings, increased productivity, and revenue realization.