Using A SASE Platform approach: What Are The Real Cost Benefits?

Following on from my previous blog – where I talked about the real costs of going down the DIY/product portfolio integration route, rather than opting for a “here’s one they made earlier” solution – one of the referenced vendors, Cato Networks, recently published a study based around the real cost of its approach from a customer perspective.

The full report is available here:

To whet your appetite, here are a few tasters of what’s in the report.

Cato commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct the study, based on identifying the financial benefits – or otherwise – being achieved by gong for its packaged SASE solution. The vendor itself admits it was staggered – in a good way – by how positive the results appear to be, in terms of helping reduce costs, eliminate overhead, retire old systems, enhance security and improve performance, as well as create higher employee morale. Given that this author formerly had to look after user bases of around 2000 people, I thoroughly appreciate the importance of keeping the user base happy 😊

Among the primary findings of Forrester were:

  • 246% ROI
  • $4.33 million NPV (Net Present Value)
  • Payback in less than 6 months
  • $3.8 million saved on reduced operation and maintenance
  • Almost $44,000 saved on reduced time to configure Cato on new sites
  • $2.2 million saved by retiring systems that Cato replaces
  • Reduced time and transit cost
  • Security consistency

Given the mammoth task for companies right now in managing their security and network operations, and with the only seeming certainty being that cost will increase, these are seriously positive figures that can only inspire a business to look at a consolidated platform approach – surely? Add in the ongoing issue of digital transformation and every penny or cent saved – and the time that goes hand in hand with that cost saving – enables that business to spend and focus on transforming itself. You only have to look at how many companies – large or small – have gone out of business in the past few years as a result of being left digitally behind to see the importance of spending on transformation.

A key saving the study revealed was in reduced operation and maintenance costs (over three years). Put simply, this means less firefighting and more time spent optimising the infrastructure. One survey customer in the vehicle manufacturing sector noted that the requirement for significant numbers of engineers to set up and maintain the (old) system, simply disappeared:

With Cato, this all went away. It’s in the dashboard. Within the hour, you understand the idea behind it and then you can just do it.”

Another key saving was noticed in reduced configuration time – always a critical factor in solution deployments, but especially when securing users is involved. One survey customer noted that because they are involved in mergers, and therefore do a lot of office moves, and into different geographies, their ideal solution was an ‘office in a box’ whereby their team could simply ship it out and “have a reasonably intelligent individual follow a diagram, plug it in, have it light up in a management portal, and we’re in business.”

Another ongoing and expensive IT pain is in maintaining old systems, with no obvious of retiring them. The survey found that a) customers were able to replace and retire their old systems with the SASE migration and b) save significant money by doing so: $2.2 million, over three years.

Other, less quantifiable benefits the report threw up were saving time and money transporting the equipment to remote sites, increased security posture through ensuring company-wide consistencies, accelerating application performance and increased flexibility in adding new mobile users and deployment in general. This, in turn, resulted in higher employee moral being noted (don’t ask my girlfriend about her IT experiences from her “support team”!) with one customer noting that, if they tried to roll back the new SASE system, their users would revolt! Enough said…


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