Business & Technology

Forrester Study Shows 300% ROI for Fortinet Secure SD-WAN Enterprise Deployments

By Nirav Shah and Rami Rammaha | December 07, 2022

Digital-first development, the rapid increase in ransomware and cybersecurity attacks, and the expanding work-from-anywhere model is driving the need for secure SD-WAN. It enables enterprises to rapidly connect and interconnect branch offices to critical business applications and resources, replacing expensive and cumbersome WAN technologies. It’s why, according to Forrester, SD-WAN is now the top organizational priority for one in three IT decision-makers.

However, the challenge for many organizations is that there are so many vendors from which to choose and so many criteria to consider. Is it easy to deploy and manage? Does it genuinely optimize user experience? Does it include enterprise-grade security? And just as importantly, how long before I recoup my investment?

As with most technologies, SD-WAN solutions can vary widely in things like advanced functionality, applicability to critical use cases, security efficacy, and total cost of ownership. Fortunately, third-party assessments help provide critical insights into the technical aspects of SD-WAN solutions. For example, Fortinet has again been recognized as a Leader in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for SD-WAN. It was also ranked #1 in the Security-Sensitive WAN, Remote Home Worker, and WAN for Small Branches Use Cases in their 2022 Critical Capabilities for SD-WAN report. And it has received the Gartner® Peer Insights™ Customers’ Choice award three years in a row.

But what about cost-effectiveness, ROI, and TCO? These issues can be just as critical. The best solution in the world is useless if you can’t afford to roll it out across your organization. Fortunately, Forrester addresses this issue with a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study. It looks at the impact of a solution on the business, providing economic metrics around benefits, costs, flexibility, and risks that further assist organizations in evaluating SD-WAN solutions.

So, what is the Forrester Total Economic Impact study?

Forrester’s TEI studies provide organizations with a comprehensive business value justification analysis so they can better understand the financial impact of a potential technology investment. It’s why Fortinet recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a TEI for our Secure SD-WAN solution. This TEI study examines the network and security impact on businesses to help enterprises assess the value they can achieve by deploying the Fortinet solution.

Forrester spoke with business decision-makers across industries and geos in retail, healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing for this TEI study that have deployed Fortinet Secure SD-WAN and other Fortinet products like switches, wireless LAN, and wireless WAN. These are all large enterprises ($1B+ in revenue), have a large number of sites (ranging from 750 to 8,500 locations), and employ between 3,500 and 133,000 workers. Based on their feedback, Forrester developed a composite model for the study and built out a three-year financial model to reflect the costs and benefits of the investment in Fortinet Secure SD-WAN.

The results over three years

The results are significant. Before implementing Fortinet Secure SD-WAN, these organizations used a combination of technologies and vendors to manage, maintain, and monitor their wide-area networks. These hybrid solutions relied on MPLS, internet connectivity, and assorted hardware. But like most traditional WAN environments, this approach lacked the visibility, flexibility, and adequate security coverage their evolving networks required. As a result, network engineers and administrators were forced to spend excessive time identifying and resolving unanticipated problems on an ad hoc basis. Additionally, scaling and modifying existing solutions increasingly became cost-prohibitive and time-consuming.

8 Months Payback and 300% ROI

Deploying the Fortinet Secure SD-WAN solution addressed these challenges while delivering a significant 300% return on investment over three years, with payback in 8 months. These benefits included reduced communication costs by over 80% by limiting reliance on MPLS, increased productivity of security and network teams by 50%, improved network and security performance by 65%, and increased productivity of the deployment team by 75%.  

65% Reduction in Network Disruption

Cost reduction was also realized through the increased stability of their WAN. The enhanced network performance provided by Fortinet Secure SD-WAN allowed business users to experience a 65% reduction in the number of network disruptions they experienced. And for those disruptions and outages that still occurred, resolution time improved by 30 minutes, creating productivity gains for all end-users and a healthier security posture for the composite organization. As a result, the three-year, risk-adjusted network and security performance benefit is valued at $1.1 million.

50% Improvement in Issue Resolution

The Fortinet Secure SD-WAN solution offers increased visibility and broad protection. According to the report, these benefits allowed the security and network teams to identify and remediate network issues more quickly, improving time-to-resolution by as much as 50%. This enabled the composite organization to reassign security and network team resources to higher-value activities, resulting in a three-year, risk-adjusted productivity benefit of $1.4 million.

Increased Productivity of Deployment Team

Fortinet Secure SD-WAN also saved 75% time per new deployment, resulting in significant efficiencies. The three-year, risk-adjusted present value (PV) savings due to deployment efficiencies totaled $321,000.

Other Benefits

  • Improved visibility and network reliability: Fortinet’s simplified, centralized management for network infrastructure improves visibility for IT teams and reduces network-related management, maintenance, and monitoring costs.
  • Enhanced security and risk mitigation: In addition to addressing performance and associated security issues more effectively, users have access to timely reports and vulnerability testing information to meet regulatory agency and internal management requirements. The Fortinet solution can also scan network data to ensure compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and other regulatory mandates.
  • Improved user experience: Fortinet Secure SD-WAN also provides rapid and secure access to applications with fewer issues, which directly correlates to fewer support tickets. And its reduction in systems outages allows employees to maintain uninterrupted network access, avoiding end-user frustration and productivity loss.
  • Ability to scale: Fortinet Secure SD-WAN seamlessly scales globally and integrates with other solutions as additional sites and applications are deployed. The agility of the Fortinet solution allows organizations to grow and adapt to changes while minimizing interruptions in connectivity and exposure to security risk.

The Forrester TEI of Fortinet Secure SD-WAN is a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Fortinet in November 2022. Download the study here.


Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Gartner®, Magic Quadrant and Peer Insights™ are trademarks of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner Peer Insights content consists of the opinions of individual end users based on their own experiences, and should not be construed as statements of fact, nor do they represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in this content nor makes any warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this content, about its accuracy or completeness, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.