The Total Economic Impact™ Of Palo Alto Networks Prisma Cloud

Cost Savings And Business Benefits Enabled By Prisma Cloud

A Forrester Total Economic Impact Study Commissioned By Palo Alto Networks, December 2023

Cloud technology gives companies the power to scale and adapt at speed, driving business agility, streamlining operations, and accelerating innovation. But increased reliance on the cloud and the explosive growth of cloud application development driven by AI also increase risk. Cloud security requires the use of a code to cloud platform that can eliminate vulnerabilities in development and stop exploits in runtime before they lead to a breach.

Palo Alto Networks Prisma Cloud is a cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP) that secures applications and services across multicloud, hybrid, and private environments. It begins at the coding stage with early-stage code and pipeline scanning throughout the application lifecycle and through runtime, bringing security operations (SecOps) together with developers. The platform gives a single source of security posture state to both SecOps and developers. This combination provides visibility across development environments, accounts, and applications by monitoring and detecting threats across the clouds for a full code to cloud security platform covering cloud security posture, permissions, workloads, and detection.

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

Reduction of SecOps team effort to investigate incidents


To better understand the benefits, costs, and risks associated with this investment, Forrester interviewed four representatives with experience using Prisma Cloud. For the purposes of this study, Forrester aggregated the interviewees’ experiences and combined the results into a single composite organization of 15,000 employees operating globally.

Prior to using Prisma Cloud, these interviewees noted how their organizations worked in a hybrid environment with assets spread across on-premises and the cloud. Having moved recently to multiple clouds, however, many of these organizations faced the issues of 1) securing these assets with proper posture management, and 2) making sure that their newly developed services, APIs, and applications that reside in the cloud are secure. There simply was not a solution to bring together cloud security management for the interviewees’ organizations.

After the investment in Prisma Cloud, the interviewees were able to consolidate their management of cloud security as well as secure new code developed for the cloud. Key results from the investment include the reduction of SecOps effort, reduction of DevOps effort, and a direct reduction in possible breach costs.

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Return On Investment (ROI)


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Net Present Value (NPV)


Key Findings

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

  • SecOps team efficiency lift for cloud enforcement. Security professionals reduce the time they spend on cloud security investigations by 48%. Additionally, their time spent configuring and enforcing policies across multiple clouds becomes drastically easier, leading to an 80% reduction in time spent on those activities. The efficiency gained from both time savings over three years is equivalent to $3.5 million.

For , the SecOps team efficiency lift for cloud enforcement might be worth over three years.

  • DevOps productivity lift from adopting shift-left security. Developers collaborate with SecOps using Prisma Cloud to catch vulnerabilities during the coding stage, enabling the rise of DevSecOps. With the shift-left of security before the deployment stage, issues are eliminated, reducing the need for rework and potential future security incidents. DevOps reduces the time needed to address vulnerabilities by 60%, giving developers more time to focus on product changes rather than security issues prior to each product release. The value of reduced rework is $1.8 million over a three-year period.

For , the DevOps productivity lift from adopting shift-left security might be worth over three years.

  • Material breach risk reduction savings. Risk and attack surfaces increase as the composite organization expands across clouds, where controls over security measures are more complicated than in traditional on-premises environments. With Prisma Cloud, risk is reduced for large-scale data breaches, which affect not only external customers and the organization’s credibility but also the productivity of internal workers who avoid time-consuming incident response and downtime. The reduction is valued at $2.8 million over three years.

For , the material breach risk reduction savings might be worth over three years.

  • Compliance efficiencies uplift for reporting. Consolidating security solutions and showing security posture in one place creates a significant efficiency boon for compliance professionals. The time to produce and verify reports alone is reduced by 90%, and audit times are reduced by up to 67%. Savings over the course of three years is $1.3 million.

For , the compliance efficiencies uplift for reporting might be worth over three years.

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

  • Consolidation of tools. Prisma Cloud allowed organizations to reduce tool sprawl by consolidating solutions. This improved operational efficiencies and reduced costs by eliminating licensing and training costs for multiple point products and improving time to issue remediation.
  • Ability to scale easily across multiple clouds. Servicing policies and entitlements with Prisma Cloud is easy for organizations because security teams can deliver once and apply them to many scenarios. This provides further efficiencies when expanding to additional clouds.
  • Integration with the entire security stack. Security assets do not operate in a vacuum, and thus, they need to integrate with other pieces in the stack such as live information feeds, security information and event management (SIEM); endpoint detection and response (EDR); and security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) systems. Prisma Cloud integrates quickly and seamlessly with most products on the market.

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

  • Licensing costs. Pricing for the composite is based on usage. When computed, the estimated cost of licenses inclusive of support is $2.0 million PV.

For , licensing costs might be over three years.

  • Ongoing costs borne internally. The cost comprises the increased engagement between SecOps and DevOps. Developers often require the assistance of security operations to support an environment in which code vulnerabilities and misconfigurations are remediated within the software supply chain, before reaching production. These DevSecOps investment costs amount to $550,000 PV.

For , internal ongoing costs might be over three years.

  • Implementation and training costs. Prisma Cloud is cloud native and built for the various clouds available today. The composite, therefore, can implement and connect services with minimal training. Total PV costs are $28,000, all accrued in the initial deployment year.

For , implementation and training costs might be during the initial year.

The representative interviews and financial analysis found that a composite organization experiences benefits of $9.4 million over three years versus costs of $2.6 million, adding up to a net present value (NPV) of $6.9 million and an ROI of 264%.

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

Key Statistics

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    Return on investment (ROI):

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    Benefits PV:

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    Net present value (NPV):

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    <6 months<6 months
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Benefits (Three-Year)

SecOps efficiency lift DevOps shift left and productivity lift Material breach risk reduction savings Compliance productivity lift

“There are solutions that provide metrics but not together with remediation capability, code security, and policy enforcement. Prisma Cloud is a couple of years ahead of the game.”

Senior security analyst, financial services

TEI Framework And Methodology

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

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 Prisma Cloud can have on an organization.

  1. Due Diligence

    Interviewed Palo Alto Networks stakeholders and Forrester analysts to gather data relative to Prisma Cloud.

  2. Interviews

    Interviewed four representatives at organizations using Prisma Cloud 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 Palo Alto Networks 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 Prisma Cloud.

Palo Alto Networks 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.

Palo Alto Networks provided the customer names for the interviews but did not participate in the interviews.

Consulting Team:

Henry Huang

Marianne Friis

Luca Son

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