Security is top concern for enterprises deploying SD-WAN – report

COVID-19 has increased enterprise demand for secure access to cloud applications for remote workers, and as a result, SD-WAN is having its moment in the sun.

Nearly 56% of respondents to a recent Masergy and IDG survey reported that they are piloting, installing or upgrading SD-WAN installations – that's up from 35% investing in SD-WAN in 2017.

IT teams are looking to SD-WAN to securely manage their multicloud environments – 66% of respondents said multicloud connectivity is a "very important" SD-WAN capability, and 52% cited embedded secure local Internet connectivity as a very important feature.

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Balancing efficient access to cloud applications with security considerations weighs heavily on IT departments responsible for setting up employees with remote access. "Security is so vital that an overwhelming 91% of the respondents expressed interest in services that converge WAN and security – also known as secure access service edge (SASE) solutions," according to the report. Security was also the top consideration for companies considering purchasing SD-WAN services as 70% reported this was a key concern.

"The top priorities right now are for enabling the remote workforce," says Becky Carr, CMO for Masergy. "Multicloud connectivity has risen to the very top of the criteria in selecting an SD-WAN provider."

IT departments are increasingly looking to service providers to provide SD-WAN as a fully managed or co-managed service – 46% of respondents said they're using a fully managed SD-WAN service and 29% have a co-managed solution, which adds up to about 75% of those surveyed utilizing SD-WAN as a managed service. Only 25% are taking the DIY approach to SD-WAN.

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"One thing that jumped out to us is the interest in a fully managed versus a co-managed or DIY [SD-WAN service]," says Carr.

Masergy and IDG surveyed 107 IT professionals in the US from the period of May 28 to June 3, 2020 for this report.

— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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