EMA Research Shows That Enterprises Have Accelerated WAN Transformation During the Pandemic

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Based on a survey of 303 enterprise IT professionals, new research from EMA explores the state of WAN transformation amidst an unprecedented business environment introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic

Enterprise WAN Transformation: SD-WAN, SASE, and the Pandemic research report

Enterprise WAN Transformation: SD-WAN, SASE, and the Pandemic research report

IT organizations believe SD-WAN can protect business continuity during a public health crisis through improved network security, enhanced network visibility, and optimized application performance.

Enterprise Management Associates (EMA™), a leading IT and data management research and consulting firm, today announced the release of its new research report titled “Enterprise WAN Transformation: SD-WAN, SASE, and the Pandemic” based on criteria defined by Shamus McGillicuddy, vice president of research, covering network management at EMA.

Enterprises are transforming their wide-area networks (WANs) to improve security, network visibility, and application performance. The pandemic has encouraged many enterprises to accelerate that transformation, according to this new research.

Wide-area networks (WAN) have gone through profound transformation over the last six years. Cloud services have been a major driver of this change, as has the emergence of the internet as a source of affordable, high-bandwidth WAN connectivity. In the middle of the last decade, software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology emerged to enable this transformation.

“The majority of enterprises accelerated SD-WAN-based transformation during the pandemic, according to our report,” said McGillicuddy. “IT organizations believe SD-WAN can protect business continuity during a public health crisis through improved network security, enhanced network visibility, and optimized application performance.”

EMA’s WAN transformation research examines all aspects of SD-WAN projects, from procurement preferences and architectural choices to network operations strategies. For instance, EMA found that IT organizations need more operational visibility in SD-WAN, despite the fact that SD-WAN solutions offer strong native monitoring capabilities. Ninety-one percent of network teams supplement native SD-WAN visibility with third-party monitoring tools. The research also found that using third-party monitoring tools with SD-WAN is a best practice.

Finally, the research reveals that 73% of IT organizations are engaged with secure access service edge (SASE), a unified and centrally managed combination of SD-WAN, cloud-based security, and secure remote access solutions. However, only 10% of companies claim to have fully implemented a SASE solution. Many are still researching and evaluating the technology.

This independent WAN transformation research report was sponsored by Juniper Networks, Kentik, LiveAction, and VMware.

A detailed analysis of the research findings is available in the report, “Enterprise WAN Transformation: SD-WAN, SASE, and the Pandemic.”

Highlights from the report will be revealed during the free January 12 webinar, “Enterprise WAN Transformation: SD-WAN, SASE, and the Pandemic.”

About EMA
Founded in 1996, EMA is a leading industry analyst firm that provides deep insight across the full spectrum of IT and data management technologies. EMA analysts leverage a unique combination of practical experience, insight into industry best practices, and in-depth knowledge of current and planned vendor solutions to help their clients achieve their goals. Learn more about EMA research, analysis, and consulting services for enterprise line of business users, IT professionals, and IT vendors at https://www.enterprisemanagement.com.

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Raleigh Gould
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