Cost isn’t the main factor when IT decision makers are evaluating network service providers, according to a new IT WAN provider survey from CenturyLink. Instead, IT buying decisions are focused on reliability, security and quality of service, adds the report, which was compiled from survey responses of U.S.-based IT professionals who have influence on their organizations’ Ethernet, MPLS and SD-WAN purchase decisions.

“As IT professionals work to meet the increasingly complex technology demands of their organizations, they are looking to deploy versatile networks that can scale with company growth,” said Eric Barrett, CenturyLink director of marketing, in a prepared statement. “Regardless of the type of networking technology being utilized, reliability, security and quality are the driving factors when selecting a solutions provider.”

IT Buying Decisions
A majority of survey respondents use Ethernet for either Carrier (60 percent) or Metro (46 percent) solutions. Among planned uses for Ethernet are business-critical applications and workloads including email, database management, cloud-hosted services, big-data analytics and development/testing. While most current Ethernet solutions are used for local coverage, other connections – such as Point-to-Multipoint and Multipoint-to-Multipoint – are expected to increase.

Additionally, the report predicts wider use cases for MPLS. Fifty-five percent of survey respondents said they are currently deploying MPLS solutions, while 45 percent are exploring MPLS solutions.

The report also found that:

  • Nearly half of respondents preferred purchasing networking solutions as part of a bundled offering, as opposed to a single solution.
  • Nearly three out of 10 believe their organizations will require significantly more bandwidth in the next three years, and more than eight out of ten respondents said their organization will require more bandwidth.
  • More than 70 percent of organizations using Ethernet and MPLS, and more than 60 percent using SD-WAN, are considering or evaluating vendors to assist with technology solutions.