Aryaka has published its Sixth Annual 2021 State of the WAN Report, the industry’s foremost compendium of insights into global SD-WAN and SASE planning. 1,600 information technology (IT) enterprise decision makers across global enterprises answered the survey, the largest response to the survey since its inception. Key trends identified in this year’s report include:
- A quarter of the respondents
state they have closed 25-50% of their office sites, dovetailing into overall
hybrid work initiatives where 75% state that at least a quarter of their
employees will remain remote permanently post-pandemic.
- Accelerating digital
transformation initiatives also impact legacy data centers, with 51% planning
to eliminate their use within the next 24 months as they move to the cloud.
- The surveyed group says
Microsoft Teams (58%) and Office 365 (55%) are among the most widely adopted
SaaS applications, followed by Zoom and Google Docs (35%).
- A quarter of respondents
expect budgets to grow by 25% or more in the next year, with a full
three-quarters projecting at least a 10% growth. Investment appears to be
accompanied via cost savings.
- A move to simplify, adopting
a more cloud-centric and agile approach, is driving convergence. In the context
of network and security, trends include the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE),
with 64% deploying or planning to deploy over the next year. Over two-thirds
will opt for a managed SASE
to help address complexity and costs, but challenges include complexity at 40%,
a single or dual-vendor approach at 39%, and developing a phased migration
strategy at 33%. Observability and control should help with deployments,
identified by over two-thirds as a top imperative.
“This year’s Aryaka State of the WAN includes many valuable insights backing up trends we see in the industry. These include the effects of hybrid work, with 75% projecting a quarter of their employees to remain at least part-time remote, and cloud connectivity demands skyrocketing with 51% planning to move away from traditional data centres over the next two years. Both initiatives will require more sophisticated network-as-a-service (NaaS) solutions with integrated security offerings,” says Scott Raynovich founder and chief analyst of Futuriom.
“The sixth edition of the Global State of the WAN (SOTW) is one of the largest such surveys in the world,” comments Shashi Kiran, CMO of Aryaka. “It packages an enormous number of insights from decisions makers from all over the world, drawn from CIOs, CISOs as well as network, security and cloud practitioners. The 2022 edition reveals new enterprise trends on workplaces, cloud adoption, convergence and several other areas putting a spotlight on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the process. We hope this resource serves as a handy companion for enterprise architects engaged in planning their WAN, security and cloud infrastructure for years ahead.”
Year-on-Year Trends and Shifting Priorities
Aryaka’s 2021 State of the WAN Report, 21% indicated that half of their
workforce would be working remote post-pandemic. This year that number
increased by 11%, with 32% reporting that at least half of their workforce
would be permanently remote.
and Productivity suites have gained traction. The Microsoft suite has gained
momentum, with Teams identified by respondents as the most deployed
application, growing its footprint by over half, from 34% in 2021 to 58% this
year. Conversely, Google Docs dropped from 41% last year to 35% today with
Microsoft 365 now at 55%.
China, basic connectivity concerns dropped noticeably from the last report, at
45% in 2021 to 30% today. In contrast, compliance and regulatory issues are now
in the lead at 50%.
renewed interest in ROI was reflected in this year’s report, with 36% of those
responding having cost concerns, an increase of 16% vs last year. Though
budgets are expected to increase by 25%, both for networking and security, the
focus on ROI implies that these increases must be spent judiciously.
professionals were less concerned vs previous years about the newness of the
technology (28% vs 31% in 2021), and whether applications will perform properly
(29% vs 36% in 2021), speaking to a greater confidence in application support.
As change management takes priority, there is an increased focus on
observability and control, increasing by 9% (69% vs 60% last year).
Aryaka 6th Annual State of the WAN 2022 – Four Themes
Acceleration of Remote and Hybrid Work: The report looks at
challenges in supporting the hybrid workforce, hybrid work trends, and
investments planned to support this new environment. 75% state that at least a
quarter of their employees will remain hybrid post-pandemic, aligned with the
closure of physical facilities, with a quarter stating they have closed 25-50%
of their office sites. Effectively managing worker movement between on-premises
and remote requires dynamic bandwidth reallocation, identified by 61% as very
Application Performance and Consumption: In addition, the report
dives into the diversity of applications in use and resulting challenges, how
enterprises plan to address these, and potential concerns. As noted earlier,
collaboration and productivity applications like Microsoft Teams and Office 365
experienced some of the strongest growth, but there was an overall uptick in
SaaS application adoption including Zoom (35%), Salesforce (28%), and SAP/HANA
(25%). Performance still must improve, with 42% identifying slow performance
for remote and mobile users a key issue, followed by 37% calling out slow
performance at the branch.
Managing Complexity and Managed Services Adoption: The report addresses what
managed services enterprises expect, including SD-WAN and SASE implementation
plans and budgets, as well as perceived barriers to adoption. This section also
looks at MPLS migration. In evaluating managed services, enterprises continue
to demand more from their providers, and are looking for a wider set of offers,
an all-in-one SD-WAN and SASE that includes the WAN (45%), security (67%),
application optimization (40%), last mile management (29%), and multi-cloud
connectivity (27%). The movement to SD-WAN SASE also follows the movement away
from MPLS, with 46% planning to terminate some or all contracts over the next
year. Enterprises are generally bullish on their budgets, with a quarter
expecting it to grow by 25% or more, and a total of three quarters expecting at
least 10% growth.
Networking and Security Convergence Including a SASE Architecture:
represents a promise of a converged Cloud-First architecture, but there are
concerns on complexity and adoption. 42% state that lackluster application
performance is a time sink, and 34% consider security to be a major priority.
This path to SASE adoption includes setting a strategy (35%), phasing out of
legacy VPNs (32%), as well as consolidating cloud security with zero-trust
(29%). Top desired capabilities include a SWG (47%), SD-WAN (36%), and FWaaS (28%).
Implementation concerns identified earlier are balanced by expected advantages
that include time and cost reduction (37%), as well as agility (33%), while
decision-making is still mostly distributed across networking and security, 41%
state it is now consolidated. Finally, over two-thirds plan to consume SASE as
a managed offer.
TheSixth Annual Global Aryaka 2022 State of the WAN study surveyed over 1600
enterprise decision makers and practitioners including CIOs, CTOs, as well as
IT, network, and security managers. Respondents were based in the Americas,
EMEA, and APAC, with their companies representing every vertical, led by
technology, software, manufacturing, financial, and retail. The survey asked
respondents about their networking and performance challenges, priorities, and
their plans for 2022 and beyond.
Download the report
Aryaka’s 6th Annual State of the WAN report here.