Research reveals top SD-WAN drivers

GTT Communications has published the results of a new study that shows current SD-WAN deployments are mainly driven by the need to optimize network connections to cloud-based applications (86%) and improve overall security posture (81%). The findings underscore the strategic importance of SD-WAN in enhancing connectivity to cloud services and ensuring access to critical resources supporting productivity and operational agility, while bolstering cybersecurity measures against ever-evolving threats.

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The results of the study, conducted by Hanover Research and commissioned by GTT, reflect the importance of SD-WAN as a foundation for the enterprise networking and security stack. SD-WAN continues to see rapid cross-industry growth and technology enhancements, marked by the integration of AI and automation features. Notably, it is also a key component in the convergence with advanced security championed by the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) framework, which integrates managed cloud-based security (also known as Secure Service Edge) and SD-WAN into a complete solution.

“As organizations become more digital, distributed and data-driven, managed SD-WAN continues to provide the foundation for the flexibility, security and efficiency needed to address their use cases and deliver the right business outcomes,” said Tom Major, senior vice president, Product Management, GTT. “Rapid innovation and security convergence through frameworks like SASE are driving shorter cycles for solution reviews and upgrades. Managed service providers can help organizations address their need to evolve, based on the ongoing technological innovations in this space, as well as the added complexity of selecting the best networking, security and connectivity for their businesses to align cost, performance and security requirements.”

According to the study, most enterprises (80%) now conduct regular upgrades of their SD-WAN solutions within two years — with around a third of these (34%) doing so every year. Organizational awareness and readiness in the area of security is also reflected, with 100% of those surveyed reporting that they plan to integrate security when deploying SD-WAN either as a multiple vendor, best-in-class choice (70%) or as a single stack, single vendor solution (30%).

The research shows that enterprises are experiencing increasing network complexity and risk, brought on by rapid data traffic growth, reliance on cloud-based applications and the shift to distributed workforces. In response, managed service providers are called upon to deploy and manage SD-WAN services. According to GTT’s research, 77% of the organizations surveyed that are currently using SD-WAN have partnered with an MSP.

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