Is Digital Transformation Shaking Confidence in SD-WAN?

Cato Networks IT survey reveals useful insights

Is Digital Transformation Shaking Confidence in SD-WAN?

SASE platform providers, Cato Networks, recently revealed the findings of its fourth annual “State of the WAN” study. The report examined the responses of 1333 IT Professionals from across the globe, offering comprehensive insights into challenges, digital transformation budgets, and readiness for 2020. The survey discovered that enterprises who deployed SD-WAN technology felt less confident in their networks after a DX initiative.

According to Cato Networks, these results highlight how important it is for companies to consider not only SD-WAN as a replacement for MPLS, but also, it’s applicability to the wider needs of a digital business. The Co-Founder and CEO of Cato Networks, Shlomo Kramer, said that enterprises need to anticipate their future requirements if they want to remain confident in their WAN transformation. Thinking about MPLS replacement alone can often lead complexities.

What Did the Survey Reveal?

Cato Networks asked its respondents about the state of digital transformation strategies within their organisations and how SD-WAN technology affected it. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents with SD-WAN implementations said that they had significantly less confidence in their networks after digital transformation. Additionally, cloud connectivity was a significant concern with 69% of the SD-WAN owners. Only a total of 37% of SD-WAN respondents said that they felt capable of protecting themselves from threats after deployment, even though the majority of respondents prioritized defending against malware.

Most respondents 56%, said that they considered a move to SD-WAN to reduce WAN costs. However, the companies in the study were concerned that SD-WAN didn’t do much for security. Notably, secure mobile access is often ignored by SD-WAN. However, 52% of respondents in the study said that enforcing a mobile security strategy was crucial to their 2020 strategy.

Additionally, while cloud applications are quickly becoming essential to the enterprise, they’re not native to SD-WAN. Usually, SD-WAN solutions require additional integration and software to support cloud technology. This means that companies need to spend more time thinking about their challenges and opportunities before pursuing SD-WAN deployments.

SASE Deployments Improved Confidence After DX

While confidence decreased in organisations with SD-WAN solutions after digital transformation, the majority of respondents with SASE architecture were more confident about their networks (62%). Cato Networks believes that this increase in confidence comes from the close alignment between the abilities of SASE, and the requirements of digital transformation.

Shlomo Kramer

Shlomo Kramer

Cato also acknowledged that respondents are more optimistic overall about security and networking in 2020, with over half of respondents (56%), saying that they expect their networking budgets to increase during 2020. This year, site connectivity continues to be a significant driver of networking challenges for most companies. Additionally, companies from all backgrounds are beginning to explore new opportunities for advanced threat protection, operational efficiency, and mobile security in 2020.

Cato Networks noted that despite the issues with confidence around SD-WAN, the outlook for the technology is bright, with 66% of respondents saying that they will have some kind of SD-WAN technology deployed by the end of the year.


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