SD-WAN FOMO: Adoption Accelerates Signifying IT Agility as a Competitive Edge

SD-WAN FOMO: Adoption Accelerates Signifying IT Agility as a Competitive Edge

SD-WAN is likely the cause for more cases of FOMO (fear of missing out) among IT executives in 2019. New IDG research shows SD-WAN investment rates are hinting at higher peaks with 90% of IT professionals having either adopted a solution or actively investigating one. What is triggering the masses to carefully consider the SD-WAN invitation? Here we evaluate the latest investor research, discover how executives rank the benefits of an upgraded edge architecture, and explore what role SD-WAN plays in IT agility as it becomes the new competitive edge for enterprises everywhere.

Adoption Rises Higher as Business Agility Heats Up

“SD-WANs are definitely moving out of the early-adopter phase and into mainstream adoption.”

- Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst at ZK Research, as quoted in the
Network World article “What to Expect from SD-WANs in 2019"

Today, multiple research studies are starting to corroborate the early predictions of SD-WAN’s explosive potential that everyone has been talking about for the past few years.

Masergy worked with IDG Research to evaluate SD-WAN trends over the past two years, and the data shows that the net total of organizations using (20%), piloting (25%), or upgrading their existing SD-WAN (9%) increased from 35% in 2017 to 54% in 2019. When you include those who are also actively researching SD-WAN (36% in 2019), the totals are more significant—rising from 69% in 2017 to 90% in 2019! (see diagram)

SD-WAN Adoption

Read the complete findings: 2019 SD-WAN Market Trends Report.

Other research studies have shown similar findings. With trends like these alongside the larger narrative around the importance of business agility and security in today’s digitally disruptive economy, it’s easy to see why SD-WAN FOMO is likely to strike. A modernized edge architecture is increasingly being viewed as a must-have for achieving IT agility in a secure, cloud-first enterprise. But, how does SD-WAN really deliver flexibility and where does the data stand on the SD-WAN payout?

SD-WAN as an IT Agility Lever: Adaptable Technologies and On-Demand Control

SD-WAN’s agility brings more options and responsiveness to the enterprise IT team. The following SD-WAN features serve as examples of some of the highest levels of IT agility:

  • More Connectivity Options: You can mix and match different access methodologies (private, public, wireless 4G/5G, as well as direct connections to cloud providers) and modify services in minutes, hours, and days (not weeks and months). This allows for responsive and cost-effective hybrid connectivity strategies that address needs on a site-by-site/application-by-application basis while still solving for the network as a whole.
  • Bandwidth Elasticity: SD-WAN allows you to prioritize bandwidth needs, automatically route network traffic according to defined parameters (prioritized applications for instance), and make changes on the fly. These on-demand capabilities allow IT teams to quickly optimize network performance so they can turn to more strategic needs and innovation initiatives.
  • Simplified Network Segmentation: Traditionally, highly segmented environments introduced management headaches and long or arduous change-management processes. But not with SD-WAN. Segmentation agility is particularly important in the age of IoT and emerging technologies, which requires separate test environments where special security rules and policies can be applied to reduce risk.
  • Management Flexibility:
    • Real-time network performance dashboards give new visibility into locations, applications, and top users.
    • Centralized management controls and analytics are available in a self-service portal that also allows for full-service options--so customers can co-manage the network alongside their provider.
    • Taking much of the IT burden off the customer, SD-WAN-as-a-service creates a menu of managed services that:
      • handle device setup and installation
      • procure and manage broadband services
      • monitor network performance on an ongoing basis, and
      • lend a hand with security threat monitoring.

At the end of the day, SD-WAN allows you to connect any global location via virtually any transport type and support multi-cloud strategies as well as a slew of emerging technologies. It's customized to your needs today, yet remains flexible enough to mold to any changes in the future. Plus, you can also deploy technologies/functions on-premise, in the cloud, or a combination of both—that way you can migrate to the cloud and to a managed IT service model on a schedule of your choice.

This freedom is totally new today.

In the next article, we will explore how this flexibility translates into business value, why it’s elevating expectations for SD-WAN buyers, and the necessary actions every IT leader should be taking to champion an SD-WAN project.

Get all the IDG research insights in the full report: 2019 SD-WAN Market Trends.

Interested in a free SD-WAN consultation and proof of concept from Masergy? Contact us today!

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About Ray Watson

VP, Innovation, Masergy
Ray Watson is VP of Innovation at Masergy. He brings over 17 years of expertise in IT strategy, application solution design and next-generation network architectures. Ray has enabled numerous global enterprises in transforming their IT infrastructures to guarantee business outcomes. Ray is an industry thought leader in IT transformation and is a frequent speaker on topics such as hybrid networking, SDN, NFV, cloud connectivity and advanced security. Prior to joining Masergy, Ray worked at Airband Communications and Broadwing Communications. He holds a B.S. from Purdue University.