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There are many great reasons to choose to move your business to the cloud, but two of the most lauded reasons and therefore, the main selling points (of cloud solutions) have always been –

  1. Business Transformation
  2. Lower IT costs

Saying that, it has always been somewhat difficult to nail the hard data around these claims; business leaders with a responsibility to manage technology and the impact it has on people (CTO/CIO’s in Enterprises – MD and other Directors in SMB’s) have always struggled to definitively define how cloud computing really costs less, lightens the burden on IT and just how it truly empowers employees to do more. The big questions are: –

“How does delivering something from the Cloud rather than our own Data Centre really transform business?” and

“How does using the cloud affect employee morale and productivity, the customer/client experience and contribute towards our overall business growth?”

Forrester’s latest report, titled “Total Economic Impact of Office 365” provides concise and detailed data that evaluates the costs and benefits of Microsoft’s Cloud Productivity Suite in comparison to their comparable on premise software. The following detail focuses on the key findings and should go some way in defining the true value and ROI of implementing Microsoft’s Cloud Productivity tools. It’s a very interesting read…


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…


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: –

  • 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 surveyed in the report also stated 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 and 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% reporting 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 Microsoft 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 data and statistics taken from the full case study by Forrester Research: “The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Office 365″.

Stuart Potter, Creative & Consulting Director, ISAAC Intelligence Ltd.

Contact us to discuss any of the points detailed or how Office 365 and its associated applications can help your business info@isaacintelligence.com+44 (0) 20 7869 8405