The Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Sentinel

Cost Savings And Business Benefits Enabled By Microsoft Sentinel

A Forrester Total Economic Impact Study Commissioned By Microsoft, December 2023

The evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats and the increasing sophistication of malicious actors have created a pressing need for organizations to enhance their threat detection and response capabilities. Organizations need to efficiently collect, correlate, and analyze security data from various sources to identify and mitigate security incidents, which safeguards their digital assets and maintains operational continuity.

Microsoft Sentinel is an intelligent, comprehensive security information and event management (SIEM) solution for proactive threat detection, investigation, and response. As a cloud-based solution, Microsoft Sentinel enables organizations to eliminate extraneous security infrastructure and operational costs while scaling to meet organizational demands.

Microsoft commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study and examine the potential return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realize by deploying Microsoft Sentinel.1 The purpose of this study is to provide readers with a framework to evaluate the potential financial impact of Microsoft Sentinel on their organizations.

To better understand the benefits, costs, and risks associated with this investment, Forrester interviewed four representatives with experience using Microsoft Sentinel. For the purposes of this study, Forrester aggregated the interviewees’ experiences and combined the results into a single composite organization.

Prior to using Microsoft Sentinel, these interviewees noted how their organizations relied on legacy on-premises SIEM solutions. The prior solutions were expensive, required specialized staff, and failed to meet evolving security and compliance needs.

After the investment in Microsoft Sentinel, the interviewees saw a reduced total cost of ownership (TCO), strengthened their security profile, and recognized productivity improvements for security and support teams for their organizations.

icon icon

Return on investment (ROI)


icon icon

Net present value (NPV)


Key Findings

Quantified benefits. Three-year, risk-adjusted present value (PV) quantified benefits for the composite organization include:

  • Cost savings from discontinuing the legacy SIEM solution that reduce TCO by 44%. Compared to the legacy, on-premises SIEM solution, Microsoft Sentinel was less expensive when measured by per-GB data ingestion and licensing costs. Additionally, the composite organization avoids capital investments required for storing logs on-premises. Over three years, the composite’s SIEM cost savings are worth $5.1 million.

For , discontinuing the legacy SIEM solution might total over three years.

  • Increases in efficiency from the reduction of false positives by up to 79% and reduction of labor effort for advanced, multitouch investigations by 85%. Microsoft Sentinel’s AI-driven correlation engine and behavior-based analytics improves mean time to respond (MTTR) by reducing the number of false positives and the effort associated with advanced investigations. Microsoft Sentinel’s intuitive platform and prebuilt playbook enables junior analysts to level up their work, which allows senior analysts to focus on higher-priority tasks. Over three years, security operations center (SOC) efficiency improvements are worth $1.5 million to the composite organization.

For , increases in efficiency from the reduction of false positives and reduction of labor effort for advanced, multitouch investigations might total over three years.

  • Reductions in management efforts that result in the redeployment of 50% of infrastructure services professionals and 16% of legacy SIEM specialists. With Microsoft Sentinel’s cloud-native platform, the composite organization reallocates resources away from servicing on-premises infrastructure and towards other value-adding initiatives. Automatic updates, an intuitive and centralized platform, and a reduction in planning and maintenance mean reduced labor demands when compared to legacy on-premises SIEMs. Over three years, reduced management effort is valued at $1.1 million.

For , reductions in management efforts that result in the redeployment of infrastructure services professionals and legacy SIEM specialists might total over three years.

  • Reductions in time to configure and deploy new connections by 93%. Microsoft Sentinel comes with prebuilt SIEM content and out-of-the box functionality, reducing the need for time-consuming customer integration work. Reduced configuration time is valued at $618,000 over the three-year analysis.

For , reductions in time to configure and new connection deployments might total over three years.

  • Reduced the likelihood of a data breach by 35%. Microsoft Sentinel provides the composite organization with an easily scalable, cloud-based solution that enables better visibility into its risk profile. With faster MTTR, the organization can reduce the impact of cyber threats. Over three years, the reduced likelihood of a breach is worth $2.8 million.

For , reduced likelihood of a data breach might total over three years.

Unquantified benefits. Benefits that provide value for the composite organization but are not quantified for this study include:

  • Reduced compliance costs. Interviewees reported that using Microsoft Sentinel allowed them to automate the collection and analysis of security data, which streamlined compliance reporting. Some interviewees noted that without Microsoft Sentinel, their organization would have worked with external consultants to meet their compliance requirements.
  • Ease of use. Interviewees shared that Microsoft Sentinel’s user-friendly interface enabled their organizations to hire security staff without highly specialized expertise. Because Microsoft Sentinel automated many complex processes, security professionals with more general IT knowledge could effectively use the platform to detect and respond to threats. In turn, this enabled organizations to staff their security teams quickly and in a cost-effective manner.

Costs. Three-year, risk-adjusted PV costs for the composite organization include:

  • Flexible, consumption-based pricing that costs $2.9 million over three years. The composite organization can scale up its data ingestion much faster with Microsoft Sentinel and have greater control over costs, which results in a 44% reduction in TCO over legacy solutions. The pricing for the composite organization is based on daily ingestion rates of 500 to 1,500 GB.

For , flexible, consumption-based pricing might total over three years.

  • Deployment costs that include a deployment team and professional services totaling $424,000. These costs include an eight-person deployment team working four months to deploy and configure Microsoft Sentinel alongside professional services.

For , deployment costs that include a deployment team and professional services might total over three years.

  • Training costs for existing staff and new hires totaling $45,000. This includes average training costs of $2,000 per security professional, including professional services, materials, and productivity loss.

For , training costs for existing staff and new hires might total over three years.

The representative interviews and financial analysis found that a composite organization experiences benefits of $11.2 million over three years versus costs of $3.4 million, adding up to a net present value (NPV) of $7.9 million and an ROI of 234%.

might experience benefits of over three years versus costs of , adding up to an NPV of and an ROI of 0%.

TCO reduction


“Every analyst says that Microsoft Sentinel is really intuitive and much easier to navigate around the screen and to do deep dives into the telemetry behind the alert. My personal view from anecdotal experience talking to my analysts is that they all find Microsoft Sentinel much easier to get to grips with and much easier to use on a day-to-day basis.”

Head of SOC, government

Key Statistics

  • icon icon

    Return on investment (ROI)

  • icon icon

    Benefits PV

    $11.2 million$11.2 million
  • icon icon

    Net present value (NPV)

    $7.9 million$7.9 million
  • icon icon


    <6<6 months
  • icon icon
  • icon icon
  • icon icon
  • icon icon

Benefits (Three-Year)

Cost savings from legacy SIEM for licensing, storage, and infrastructure SOC team efficiency gains Management efficiencies Reduced time to deploy and configure with Microsoft Sentinel Avoided and reduced impacts of security breach

TEI Framework And Methodology

From the information provided in the interviews, Forrester constructed a Total Economic Impact™ framework for those organizations considering an investment in Microsoft Sentinel.

The objective of the framework is to identify the cost, benefit, flexibility, and risk factors that affect the investment decision. Forrester took a multistep approach to evaluate the impact that Microsoft Sentinel can have on an organization.

  1. Due Diligence

    Interviewed Microsoft stakeholders and Forrester analysts to gather data relative to Microsoft Sentinel.

  2. Interviews

    Interviewed four representatives at organizations using Microsoft Sentinel to obtain data about costs, benefits, and risks.

  3. Composite Organization

    Designed a composite organization based on characteristics of the interviewees’ organizations.

  4. Financial Model Framework

    Constructed a financial model representative of the interviews using the TEI methodology and risk-adjusted the financial model based on issues and concerns of the interviewees.

  5. Case Study

    Employed four fundamental elements of TEI in modeling the investment impact: benefits, costs, flexibility, and risks. Given the increasing sophistication of ROI analyses related to IT investments, Forrester’s TEI methodology provides a complete picture of the total economic impact of purchase decisions. Please see Appendix A for additional information on the TEI methodology.


Readers should be aware of the following:

This study is commissioned by Microsoft and delivered by Forrester Consulting. It is not meant to be used as a competitive analysis.

Forrester makes no assumptions as to the potential ROI that other organizations will receive. Forrester strongly advises that readers use their own estimates within the framework provided in the study to determine the appropriateness of an investment in Microsoft Sentinel.

Microsoft reviewed and provided feedback to Forrester, but Forrester maintains editorial control over the study and its findings and does not accept changes to the study that contradict Forrester’s findings or obscure the meaning of the study.

Microsoft provided the customer names for the interviews but did not participate in the interviews.

Consulting Team:

Sam Conway

Matt Dunham

Cookie Preferences

Accept Cookies

A cookie is a small text file that a website saves on your computer or mobile device when you visit the site. It enables the website to remember your actions (data inputs, website navigation), so you don’t have to re-enter data when you come back to the site or browse from one page to another.

Behavioral information collected by our web analytics vendor is used to analyze data pertaining to visitor trends, plan website enhancements, and measure overall website effectiveness. We may also use cookies or web beacons to help us offer you products, programs, or services that may be of interest to you and to deliver relevant advertising. We may use third-party advertising companies to help tailor website content to users or to serve ads on our behalf. These companies may also employ cookies and web beacons to measure advertising effectiveness.

Please accept cookies and the collection of behavioral information to receive full functionality and enhance your experience. If you decline cookies, some features of the website may not function normally.

Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.