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Microsoft Security

Microsoft Entra delivers 240 percent ROI, according to new Forrester study

Every day we easily move between apps and devices while identity professionals work hard behind the scenes to improve technologies that make this digital experience more secure. With nearly 50 percent of data breaches caused by stolen credentials, it’s important for identity professionals to arm themselves with cutting-edge and intelligent tools to stay ahead of attackers.1 And these tools must also be financially viable without hindering productivity or skirting growth. Microsoft Entra is purpose-built to do both, bringing identity and access solutions together in a comprehensive product family for multicloud environments. Alongside skilled identity professionals, Microsoft Entra balances organizations’ needs to secure their digital estates and keep business operations moving. 

To evaluate the net effects of moving to Microsoft’s cloud-native identity and access management (IAM) solution, Forrester Consulting has conducted a commissioned study on behalf of Microsoft: The Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Entra. Forrester interviewed 10 representatives from eight existing Microsoft customers that are currently using three products in the Microsoft Entra family: Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), Microsoft Entra Permissions Management, and Microsoft Entra Verified ID.  

Graph showing the Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Entra from 2023, which shows return on investment up 240 percent and net present value up 8.57 million dollars.
Figure 1. The Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Entra.

In total, Forrester’s financial analysis found that a composite organization based on these interviewed customers experienced benefits of USD12.14 million over three years, versus costs of USD3.57 million. This adds up to a net present value of USD8.57 million and a return on investment (ROI) of 240 percent. Forrester left no stone unturned in examining the financial impact of Microsoft Entra. The results were divided into five categories common to most organizations. Here’s an overview of their findings:

Modernizing identity and consolidating vendors

Before Microsoft Entra, interviewed organizations managed identity and access using multiple-point solutions. This patchwork approach came up short in providing adequate security and introduced high complexity and costs. With Microsoft Entra, organizations could retire some of these solutions as well as sunset legacy on-premises infrastructure such as Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS). After consolidating with Microsoft Entra, Forrester determined that composite organization’s cost savings totaled USD2,084,082.

“We wanted to centralize all of our IAM tools, and we decided to use Microsoft Entra because of what Microsoft offered in terms of its security and enterprise relationships, and also [because of] the fact that our chief information security officer felt comfortable about having our identity managed by Microsoft.”

—Identity and access team lead, software industry

Increasing identity team efficiency

By securing access for all their identities to any app and resource, the surveyed organizations were able to implement granular risk-based policies. With multifactor authentication, they protected against phishing, credential stuffing, and other attacks that exploit user credentials. Permissions Management enabled organizations to discover and remediate security risks caused by excessive and unused permissions in their multicloud environments. Forrester found that the composite organization was able to reduce the likelihood of a breach by 20 percent over three years. This also helped ensure compliance with regulatory standards. All these improvements yielded a three-year, risk-adjusted total of USD1,521,840.

Graphic illustrating the Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Entra showing that Microsoft Entra reduces the likelihood of a breach by 20 percent.

Accelerating development velocity

Surveyed organizations shared that for security purposes developers were required to request permissions every time they needed new access, and this tended to have a negative impact on product-development speed. A developer’s work on a project could get interrupted by up to several days while the developer was waiting for access, and any project as a whole could get delayed by weeks or even months as those interruptions added up. Adopting Permissions Management improved product development velocity from days to hours, which helped keep development projects on schedule. Forrester calculated that wait time for developers was reduced by 90 percent. This sped-up development yields a total of USD922,422 in benefits over three years.

“What previously took two to three days is now handled in a couple of hours at most.”

—Head of enterprise security architecture, insurance industry

Increasing worker productivity and reducing IT friction

Employees expect to collaborate on any project from anywhere using any app—especially now that hybrid work is the new normal. But they find signing into multiple applications throughout the day frustrating and time-consuming. Interviewees shared that one of their primary goals for their organizations was to improve user experience by enabling single sign-on for applications from almost any device or location. According to Forrester’s calculations, with Microsoft Entra, each employee saved 13 hours per year on average and the composite organization saved USD4,048,685 over three years. If you have a help desk, your employees likely make thousands of password reset requests per month. Locked-out users can’t be productive, and their pleas for help eat up valuable time help desk workers could spend on other priority tasks. With Microsoft Entra, employees can reset their own passwords without help desk intervention. Forrester estimates that customers can decrease the number of password reset calls per year by 75 percent, yielding a three-year adjusted present value of USD251,794.

“If you have your applications integrated with Azure AD, you can have a really, really sweet user experience, security model, and simple administration.”
—Senior security engineer, software industry

Security for all

At Microsoft Security, we’re committed to being a trusted partner for IAM and security teams like those who shared their experiences for this study. We believe a holistic approach to security can help you protect what matters without slowing productivity. To get the full analysis on how cloud-native, scalable Microsoft Entra can deliver significant, be sure to download The Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Entra and share its accompanying infographic for fast insights.

To learn more about Microsoft Security solutions, visit our website. Bookmark the Security blog to keep up with our expert coverage on security matters. Also, follow us on LinkedIn (Microsoft Security) and Twitter (@MSFTSecurity) for the latest news and updates on cybersecurity.

1Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report