Author: Camille Mendler, Chief Analyst, Enterprise Services, Omdia
While the COVID-19 pandemic may have reshaped the expected course of 2020, it has also sharpened focus on where it is most urgent for companies and their IT teams to act. Omdia’s Chief Analyst, Camille Mendler, shares her research on the changing IT priorities, explaining why migrating to an SD-WAN has become a necessity–not a nice to have.
New SD-WAN features translate into more choices for IT leaders. Learn the key touchpoints for decision making with this Nemertes Research guide.
Before the pandemic hit, only 1% of European enterprises believed that their digital transformation journey was complete, according to Omdia research. The ability to do business online fluently, to develop and protect digital assets, and to run agile, adaptive organizations were a work in progress for the remaining 99%.
Today, enterprises still want to achieve these goals – and their dependency on a modern networking foundation to do this has only escalated. While the crisis may have reshaped the expected course of 2020, it has also sharpened focus on where it is most urgent for enterprises to act.
Among enterprise priorities, migrating to an SD-WAN has become a necessity, not a nice to have. Connecting, securing and optimizing fluid working environments on the fly is the new normal for enterprise IT departments already under extreme pressure. But European enterprises don’t expect to face this task alone: 98% are seeking partners to help them.
Early in 2020, Omdia spoke to a cross-section of European mid-market and large enterprises about their networking investments, plans and experiences. The results make clear that a massive shift was already underway – and delivering tangible results:
These results are impressive on their own, but even more so when considered in context. According to Omdia interviews, enterprise IT departments are still typically spending 70% of their time on routine moves, adds and changes, troubleshooting and maintenance tasks. SD-WAN platforms can help free these valued expert employees from much routine administrative drudgery. Given the fast reaction and adaptability that COVID-19 has demanded – and will continue to demand – enterprise IT must be able to focus on more strategic activities and be empowered to execute on initiatives fast.
Note: “Significant deployment” is more than 10% of sites connected to SD-WAN . “Small deployment” is a
pilot or <=10% of sites connected to SD-WAN
Source: Omdia 2020 Enterprise Network Insights Survey. n=480
Shifts in investment priorities, coupled with delayed and cancelled projects, are fundamental to market momentum. The €33.5 billion European enterprise networking services market will lose just over 5% of its value in 2020. Recovery will take time and is variable by industry. Deep impacts in retail, transportation and insurance industries are one aspect of the market, compared to resilience in healthcare, media and IT industries.
Overall, the market will move through three phases between 2020 through to late 2021: protection, stabilization and reconstruction.
Accordingly, enterprise investment priorities will also evolve (see fig. 3). In this snapshot of managed network services, the steady rise of SD-WAN services is clear. Some services will decline, and functions will merge into others such as WAN optimization.
SD-WANs are demonstrably proving successful for many European enterprises. In functionality, however, the SD-WAN market will need to move on to keep enterprises satisfied. Not only are there different SD-WAN solutions on the market, but enterprises must be sure that the solution they choose is properly aligned with their actual needs. The next stage of networking investment will demand more nuanced decision making.
Enterprises prospecting for networking services partners are already stating areas of rising concern: