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Security Fears Drive SD-WAN Adoption, ‘Unabated’ WAN Investment

Security Partnership

**Editor’s Note: Read our list of 20 top SD-WAN providers offering products and services via channel partners.**

Three-quarters of medium-to-large businesses have conducted a trial for SD-WAN, according to a new report by IHS Markit.

The “WAN Strategies” North American survey found that 74 percent of respondents tried out the technology in a lab setting last year.

The study is in step with other market reports, which show SD-WAN becoming mainstream. An Avant survey released last week predicted the technology to see the biggest adoption in the next two years.

IHS Markit surveyed network managers about the state of their wide area networks and the drivers for adopting SD-WAN. The survey concluded that WAN investment is growing alongside traffic growth and an increased need for bandwidth. The Internet of Things is one of the factors for bandwidth usage growing more than 20 percent every year, according to the research firm.

IHS Markit's Matthias Machowinski

IHS Markit’s Matthias Machowinski

Meantime, IT departments are spending more money on their WANs, with branch offices growing the most. Respondents averaged $300,000 in WAN-related spend each last year.

Although the study cited control and affordable as reasons to change one’s network, the most important driver was security. Fear of breaches opens the door for investing in new infrastructure. A Cato Networks study released last month also tapped security – along with simplifying the network – as the biggest reason. One of our earlier columns this year explored how SD-WAN vendors have been scrambling to assemble partnerships and architecture for security.

“As companies shift a greater portion of their IT infrastructure into the cloud, and expand their physical presence to go after new markets or be closer to customers and partners, the need for reliable, secure and high-performance WAN and internet connectivity has never been greater,” said Matthias Machowinski, senior research director for enterprise networks at IHS Markit. “However, companies don’t have unlimited budgets to fund growing WAN bandwidth consumption, which is why a majority are planning to deploy software-defined WAN in the next three years, to better control how their WANs are used.”

The survey found that 71 percent of respondents plan to work with off-premises cloud services providers by the end of this year.

We recently spoke to Comcast Business about why it chose Versa Networks as its SD-WAN partner.


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