Security tops Aryaka’s global State of the WAN Report

Security tops Aryaka’s global State of the WAN Report

23 April 2020 | Natalie Bannerman

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Aryaka has published its fourth annual global State of the WAN report.

The global report surveyed 1,100 respondents about the challenges and opportunities for IT network managers around their wide area network (WAN).

Key findings from the report reveals that application performance in remote locations and at the branch is the biggest issue UK companies face.

In turn, network complexity and its impact on performance is the top blocker to WAN implementation and cost has become less of an issue for respondents who now cite significant investment in automation, security, cloud connectivity and are looking ahead to 5G.

45% of UK businesses noted that slow application performance led to poor user experiences for remote and mobile users and is a big issue faced by IT and support teams.

In addition, 39% cite accessing and integrating cloud and SaaS applications as one of the most pressing issues for UK IT departments.

33% say that the lack of adequate WAN security and the slow performance of on-premise applications are among the top issues faced by UK organisations.

While 31% say that the complexity in managing and maintaining the WAN, along with a lack of visibility into the WAN are the next biggest challenges.

“We are living in a complex multi-cloud and multi-SaaS application world. As global enterprises continue to innovate by embracing new technologies and migrating to the cloud, they also face new challenges, and the network is increasingly a strategic asset,” said Shashi Kiran (pictured), CMO of Aryaka.

“Whether it’s an increasing number of global sites through expansion, poor performing cloud-based applications, increasing costs or the time it takes to manage multiple vendors, many organisations are at an inflection point: transform the WAN now or risk falling behind and losing to competitors.”

Other findings include prioritising 5G investment (43%) followed closely by big data and analytics (42%), IT automation (41%) and cloud/SaaS migration (40%).

Speaking to exclusively to Capacity, Kiran said: “5G will have an impact in the WAN space because 5G brings a tremendous amount of new bandwidth. There are technologies today that are built to optimise bandwidth and also as a backhaul technology.”

“We do see 5G having a ripple effect in terms of what is in the access but also the types of bandwidth upgrades it will lead to in the core. Also, the connectivity upstreaming to cloud providers and things like that. The more it is adopted the higher it will drive expectations with regards to network traffic.”

Organisations are also showing a strong interest in new networking initiatives like cloud and SaaS connectivity upgrades (39%) and cloud-based network management (37%).

The report showed a number of changes in trends - in 2018, 40% of respondents across Europe cited high costs as the main concern.

However, in 2019 this number fell to 12% in Europe – owing to growing market maturity and a better understanding of ROI in SD-WAN/WAN transformation projects.

One barrier to SD-WAN better adoption is the complexity surrounding the technology. 36% of respondents said that this as the top barrier to adoption. Further to this, 35% of UK IT managers also stated the technology is “too new”.

The next barrier to SD-WAN adoption in the UK that emerged from the report, is the lack of the right skill sets according to 33% of respondents.

Despite these roadblocks, in the UK, 39% of those surveyed are gathering information about the technology and 30% are already evaluating vendors.

UK organisations are also demanding more from their SD-WAN solutions – 42% in the UK demand cloud/SaaS connectivity, 41% want application acceleration and WAN optimisation.

Once they deploy one, 32% of UK respondents said they would choose a telco-or MSP-provided option over the 24% that would choose an SD-WAN vendor,

As ever security remains a major concern. 40% say security breaches are one of the main pressures on European IT teams.

55% in Europe and 54% in the UK, would choose a best-of-breed approach to SD-WAN security with a staggering 86% choosing a managed firewall solution.

“I don’t think people see SD-WAN as inherently insecure in fact the transport networks of SD-WAN are inherently secure, what they are looking to do is bring in more consistency in terms of driving polices and traffic engineering,” Kiran continued.  

Having that come together and being delivered as a consistent managed offering allows companies to become a lot more deterministic in its application policy enforcement and definition.”