Security and cloud app demands underpin SASE market growth

Enterprise demand for a network and security refresh has strengthened growth in the SASE, SD-WAN and secure service edge (SSE technologies) market. Overall secure access service edge (SASE) spend is forecasted to exceed $6 billion in 2022, according to a recent Dell'Oro Group report.

Investment in SASE technologies has been spurred by enterprises' need to "secure and improve connectivity for cloud-based apps and hybrid work," said Mauricio Sanchez, research director for Dell'Oro Group, in a statement.

During Q2, Sanchez said that "both SASE's components, SSE and SD-WAN, saw more than 30% growth, showing enterprises value SASE's network and security transformation benefits."

The SASE market remains saturated with more than 35 vendors. As of Q2, the top 11 suppliers have secured 80% of the market by revenue, according to Dell'Oro.

Security spurs growth in SASE market

The research group notes that zero trust network access (ZTNA) and firewall-as-a-service are the two SSE use cases experiencing the fastest growth.

Last month, Fernando Montenegro, senior principal analyst with Omdia, connected with Light Reading about why security is a major driver for SASE adoption at a time when hybrid work is exceptionally popular among enterprises.

"Our own research indicates that end-user organizations value secure web browsing use cases (SWG, CASB, browsing isolation) particularly as they go further into their deployments of SASE projects," said Montenegro in an email to Light Reading.

Research Director Brian Washburn at Omdia, a sister company to Light Reading, explained in a recent report that "SASE's underlying intent — embedding security across distributed networks — is important. There is another critical reason for enterprise IT leaders to adopt the SASE language. SASE pulls network and security teams, treated as separate functions, back together."

Enterprises value security as SD-WAN's most important benefit
Source: Omdia
Source: Omdia

Security must be ubiquitous in the network because "enterprises now face porous network perimeters: internet VPNs, remote workforces, roaming mobile devices, and cloud-hosted applications. No device can be trusted based on its location," wrote Washburn.

Leading SASE vendors

Broadcom/Symantec, Cisco, Palo Alto Networks and Zscaler (in alphabetical order) are the top four SASE providers, representing 50% of market revenue.

On the security side, Broadcom/Symantec, Cisco and Zscaler (in alphabetical order) are the top three SASE security suppliers with 60% market revenue. Looking at networking vendors, Fortinet, Cisco, and VMware (in alphabetical order) are the top three with a 50% market revenue share.

Dell'Oro also found that SD-WAN hardware demand continues to outpace supply, and unified SASE grew twice as fast as disaggregated SASE. Unified SASE, which Dell'Oro qualifies as the portion of the market that delivers SASE as an integrated platform, is expected to exceed disaggregated SASE by almost a factor of six over the next five years. The disaggregated type is defined as a multi-vendor or multi-product implementation with less integration than the unified type.

SASE faces uphill battle

Despite strong growth, it's not all rainbows and puppy tails for the SASE market future. Vendors and service providers were quick to board the SASE train, but enterprises are still scratching their heads as they learn the lingo behind yet another telecom industry acronym.

If service providers and SASE suppliers wish to succeed in this market, they face the challenge of uniting enterprise customers' historically siloed networking and security teams, explained Omdia's Washburn.

"From Omdia's interviews of enterprise and service provider executives, bringing together separate enterprise network and security teams under SASE will prove a more difficult hurdle than technology integration or migration," wrote Washburn in his report. "Enterprise security teams often have strong platform preferences and resist change."

— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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