Nearly three-quarters (74%) of businesses deploying SD-WAN have "significantly" less confidence in their networks following digital transformation initiatives, a new study finds.
Researchers with Cato Networks polled 1,333 IT professionals around the world to learn about their budgets, challenges, and readiness to change their digital environments. Nearly half (43%) work for companies with more than 2,500 employees, all have some cloud presence, and 82% work for organizations with at least two physical data centers. More than half (56%) expect their networking budget to increase in the next year; 73% say the same for their security budgets.
Thirty-five percent of respondents have an SD-WAN deployment and 30% are planning to deploy SD-WAN within the next year. Researchers found most businesses adopt SD-WAN for financial reasons: Fifty-six percent say excessive WAN costs are their primary reason to switch. Other drivers include better Internet access (55%), improved last-mile availability (50%), need for more bandwidth (48%), broader WAN modernization effort (45%), and cloud migration (42%).
Respondents' low confidence in their networks following digital transformation could be linked to the issues they find during the transformation process, researchers say. "The results suggest that only as organizations roll out digital initiatives, they uncover the weaknesses in their networks," the study states. The high costs of MPLS drive many to adopt SD-WAN; however, once an organization requires cloud or mobile access, IT pros realize their network limitations.
Cloud connectivity was a major issue among respondents. Sixty percent say cloud applications will be the most critical to their organizations over the next 12 months, more so than applications hosted in private data centers. However, 69% of SD-WAN owners expressed lower confidence in cloud connectivity following digital transformation efforts.
Researchers also learned SD-WAN does little from a security perspective. While most (66%) respondents cite malware and ransomware as their primary security challenge for 2020, only 37% say their SD-WAN help defend locations from these types of threats.
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