Masergy released the results of a research study assessing where businesses are in their journey to SD-WAN and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). The results include new potential peaks in adoption and highlight the importance of reliability, security, and a growing preference for hybrid access. Findings from the research offer new insights into SD-WAN return on investment (ROI).
Altman Solon surveyed more than 300 IT decision makers in U.S. headquartered businesses across more than 20 industries.
SD-WAN connectivity gaining traction
- SD-WAN is gaining traction in the digital business environment: SD-WAN adoption is expected to rise to 92% of companies and 64% of sites by 2026 with most adopting it for efficiency (38%), cost savings (38%), and agility (34%).
- Performance and security matter most: Solution reliability (~50%) and security (~60%) are top priorities for selecting an SD-WAN provider.
- SASE is not yet understood: Despite the hype, 50%+ of IT decision makers don’t have a good understanding of its impact and business implications.
- Majority of companies will use hybrid SD-WAN: ~58% expect to use a hybrid access model (a mix of both public and private access) over the next five years. Both private-only access users (63%) and public-only access users (55%) are considering a shift to hybrid access. Among respondents using a public-only or internet-only approach to SD-WAN, 50% said they would incorporate more private access because performance is insufficient for their critical applications.
- Companies are relying on SD-WAN service providers: Today only 23% use a do-it-yourself solution, and 77% use a fully managed or co-managed solution.
- Private connectivity is here to stay: Private connectivity will continue to play a prominent role in backing up SD-WAN architectures.
“This study affirms that IT leaders understand the value of SD-WAN connectivity and are leaning into hybrid access models that strike the right balance between price and performance for a ROI ‘sweet spot’,” said Terry Traina, CTO at Masergy.
“The survey confirms what everyone is noticing anecdotally. There’s still a lot of confusion about SASE. Conceptually SASE makes sense, but turning its framework into a tactical plan can be challenging for IT leaders.”