Orgs Using Public Cloud Want Partners to Help with Secure SD-WAN

Network Security

A significant number of IT decision makers choose to, or want to, work with VARs and other channel partners when protecting their public clouds. And they view integrated SD-WAN as the best solution. That’s according to a new report, Secure SD-WAN: The Launch Pad Into Cloud, underwritten by Barracuda Networks.

In the United States, 11% of organizations interviewed on behalf of Barracuda said they would prefer to buy their SD-WAN through a VAR. That figure rises to 14% in APAC; in EMEA, it’s 12%.

More than half of firms – 52% worldwide – want to buy from a cloud provider. Nonetheless, across the globe, those inclined to turn to VARs, independent vendors or telecom partners, state these reasons why:

  • Simplicity of adoption – This finding prevailed in APAC at 50%, followed by the U.S. at 48% and EMEA at 37%.
  • Knowledge level – APAC led this answer at 50%, with the U.S. at 46% and EMEA at 32%.
  • Best pricing – The U.S. came in first at 46%; APAC at 43%; and EMEA at 38%.
  • Good relationship – This is a higher priority in APAC at 46%, with the U.S. coming in next at 44% and EMEA at 32%.
  • Tailored solution – The U.S. and EMEA tied at 41%, followed by APAC at 35%.
  • Always done this way – APAC ranked first in this category at 33%, with EMEA trailing at 18% and the U.S. rounding out the findings at 16%.

Interestingly, several vertical markets want to buy secure SD-WAN from VARs and other external vendors for the ease of adoption. This emerged as the prime consideration for industries including retail, distribution and transport (54%); financial services (49%); business and professional services (62%); media, leisure and entertainment (50%); and other commercial sectors (48%).

We recently compiled a list of 20 top SD-WAN providers offering products and services via channel partners.

Public Cloud Security Challenges

The report from Barracuda comes as the vendor sought to uncover the extent of organizations’ public cloud security challenges. The issue becomes more important as various outlets project soaring cloud adoption because of COVID-19. For example, Flexera, in its recent annual State of the Cloud Report, discovered that respondents expect to spend almost 50% more on cloud this year because of coronavirus-spurred remote work. Similarly, Synergy Research Group said in late April that first-quarter spending on cloud infrastructure rose 37% from the same period a year earlier, reaching $29 billion.

Synergy's John Disdale

Synergy’s John Dinsdale

“In uncertain times, the public cloud is providing flexibility and a safe haven for enterprises that are struggling to maintain normal operations,” said John Dinsdale, a chief analyst at Synergy Research Group.

To the point Barracuda makes in its report, then, as public cloud adoption grows, so does the need to better shore up those deployments. Many organizations seem to see secure SD-WAN as a key way to accomplish that. (And, to be clear, this is Barracuda’s bailiwick.) Secure SD-WAN addresses the two main public cloud security obstacles enterprises face: lack of access control and backhauling traffic.

With that in mind, Barracuda says nearly three in four (74%) respondents already have deployed SD-WAN or expect to do so within the next 12 months. Financial services represents the vertical with the most SD-WAN deployments; public sector has the fewest. This all points to lots of opportunity for channel partners specializing in both public cloud and secure SD-WAN.

Of final note is that both Barracuda and Flexera found more enterprises trust Microsoft Azure over Amazon Web Services. Azure still has a way to go before it overtakes its larger rival; still, Barracuda, in particular, discovered that organizations prefer Azure by 50% over AWS, and by 125% more than Google Cloud Platform. Flexera reached similar conclusions.

Market research firm Vanson Bourne conducted the survey for Barracuda. Analysts polled 750 respondents, all of whom held responsibility for or had knowledge of their organization’s cloud infrastructure.

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