Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) implementations have long been favored by enterprises pursuing digital transformation strategies. The virtual overlay offers the ability to segment traffic, improves visibility, and prioritizes mission-critical transmissions, all while supporting the bandwidth-hungry demands of cloud solutions. Now, SD-WAN is being tapped as a way to support improved security for employees who have transitioned to work from home.
The IDG SD-WAN Market Trends Report demonstrates that, for the third year in a row, SD-WAN adoption continues to grow. With the acceleration of remote work impacting enterprises across every industry, there’s a growing interest in both fully managed SD-WAN and co-managed solutions to help in navigating the complexities impacting networking and security concerns.
The survey, conducted between late May and early June in 2020, included 107 professionals who held higher-level positions in IT or IT security, with each employed in a large, multinational enterprise.
The survey examined how work-from-home challenges have complicated security and business continuity as well as the mitigating effect that SD-WAN can have on these circumstances. SD-WAN and deployed secure access service edge (SASE) solutions support security for remote employees while protecting performance levels and bandwidth requirements for cloud solutions.
The responses represented the input from IT decision-makers spanning a variety of industries. Findings demonstrate the priority that enterprises are placing on network infrastructure and security in an effort to support business continuity and protect the integrity of remote work. IT professionals are also placing a high level of importance on strategies that support a single approach to a combined network and security solution. In addition, enterprises are interested in a managed service provider that acts as a partner for assistance in those two areas.
The impact of the quick influx of remote work in 2020 is demonstrated in the results of the survey. Enabling collaboration and supporting remote work are two major priorities of IT professionals, with 44% indicating that prioritization of the support of employees working from home was critical.
Approximately two-thirds, or 64%, of respondents said that their investment in network infrastructure was up over the last quarter, and SD-WAN investments, specifically, have increased. 56% reported that they were testing, installing, or upgrading an SD-WAN installation, compared with 35% in 2017.
Security also tops the lists of priorities, with 91% of respondents demonstrating an interest in SD-WAN solutions that include SASE. Those planning an implementation are largely driven by a need to support multicloud connectivity (66%) or the need to boost cloud application performance.
Managed solutions are more in-demand, with 45% preferring a fully-managed solution versus 29% choosing co-managed and 25% preferring an SD-WAN solution managed in-house.
The need to support remote work is not subsiding anytime in the near future, so enterprises will continue to prioritize SD-WAN for its performance and security-enhancing features. For more information, contact us at Clarksys.