Forrester reveals the true ROI of Office 365

Forrester reveals the true ROI of Office 365

The main selling point of so-called “enterprise cloud solutions” has always been around two key benefits:

  1. Business Transformation and
  2. Lower IT costs

That said, it’s hard for CIOs and IT Leaders to obtain real hard data around how Cloud Computing really “lightens the burden on IT” and where these “lower IT costs” really come from. IT Leaders often have questions around such as “how does delivering something from the Cloud rather than our own Data Centre really Transform Businesses” and more importantly “how does using the cloud affect employee productivity, the customer/client experience and contribute towards our overall business growth?

Forrester’s latest “Total Economic Impact of Office 365” provides a consise and detailed report that evaluates the costs and benefits of Microsoft’s Cloud Productivity Suite in comparison to their comparable on-premise software to unravel the true value and ROI of implementing Microsoft’s Cloud Productivity tools. The “highlights” are quite interesting reading…

Forrester’s evaluation looked at the business and IT benefits over five key areas:

  • Technology
  • Mobility
  • Control and Compliance
  • Business Intelligence, and
  • Enterprise Social.

The report was designed to target the true business value of using Microsoft’s suite of cloud-based products (Office 365 – Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online, and Yammer) as opposed to on-premise Microsoft Office, Exchange Server and so on…


On the technology front, Forrester reported that companies that have adopted Office 365 experienced a significant reduction in support and licensing costs as well as marked improvement in IT security. Key points noted

  • 11.9% less IT support costs for legacy systems
  • 11.2% lower Microsoft licensing costs
  • 9.4% less procurement costs and third-party software license costs

The companies “interviewed” in the survey also reported that Office 365 met all of their business needs and served as a comprehensive business solution that didn’t need to be bolstered by third-party software and required much less management from the IT team because updates occurred automatically. The Office 365 also included enterprise-grade security, access to the latest versions of Microsoft technologies, and additional collaboration benefits with the ability to access information and work through a browser or on any device.


One of the main priorities of companies that moved to Microsoft cloud-based applications was mobility, even for companies that didn’t necessarily maintain a mobile workforce.

  • 42% of companies saw an increase in worker productivity
  • 38% reported happier employees due to benefits of BYOD policies that Office 365 enabled.
  • 33% reported less user downtime

Of the companies surveyed, there was also an observation of a strong increase in employee engagement and effectiveness, many seeing accelerated workflows and streamlined operations due to the fact that employees were no longer limited to using their office computer to communicate professionally and access the information they needed to keep business moving forward.

Control, Compliance and Security

Of the companies surveyed control and security were the two primary concerns with moving to the cloud. In most cases, the impact and concern around these issues were actually improved by leveraging the Microsoft Cloud to improve security and access, as well as reduce costs.

  • 6.8% reduced compliance costs
  • 10.7% less time spent on eDiscovery efforts
  •  73% reduction in data breaches
  • 32% decrease in the cost of data breaches

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence is fast becoming a vital source for competitive advantage in businesses. The role of “big data” and its ability to help drive business decision-making will become increasingly important and more sophisticated in the cloud.

  • 45% reported improvement in employee performance due to anytime, anywhere access to information
  • 28% reported corporate knowledge improvements, because information is no longer “lost” on local systems
  • 100% (almost) reported system uptimes of 100%

Hosting data in the cloud means that not only is it in a central location and therefore is available from anywhere, but the power of cloud computing facilitates advanced analytics that provide valuable, real-time business intelligence. A great example of this is icrosoft Power BI, which provides deep insights and dynamic data visualizations to help organizations peer right into the heart of the business in order to make well-informed business decisions.

Enterprise Social

As technology has allowed people to stay closely connected through online social interaction in their personal lives, workplace communication has also shifted to a more collaborative, social-driven environment. To support this new way of working, Microsoft has designed tools that improve knowledge sharing, collaboration, and productivity through social interaction.

10% reported increased productivity due to social components that allow knowledge sharing

All snippets and statistics quoted are taken from the full case study by Forrester Research: “The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Office 365″.

Click below to view or download the full study, or contact us at with any questions, for a demo  or to learn more about Microsoft Office 365 solutions and how Cisilion can help.

Forrester Office 365 Report

Rob Quickenden, Chief Strategy Officer at Cisilion