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Ninety-four percent of IT decision makers feel that secure access service edge (SASE) technology adoption is accelerating due to digital services and remote/hybrid work.

Additionally 98% believe convergence of network and security is “critical or very important,” according to respondents to a report from media outlet CIO on behalf of security firm Fortinet and platform provider Masergy.

SASE is a complementary technology to software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) and both are designed to support an increasingly cloud-based approach to information technology. SD-WAN enables enterprises to use MPLS for high priority traffic and direct internet access for lower priority communications. SASE seeks to provide security in an environment in which there is no central point at which security can be administered.

Other findings of the SASE report:

  • The top four challenges driving interest in SASE solutions are cloud security, including visibility and control into cloud environments (cited by 52% of respondents); Innovation, including cloud application migration and artificial intelligence (44%); Security strategy, including implementing Zero Trust (41%) and network security, including removing connectivity barriers without jeopardizing security (36%).
  • In a comparison of anticipated benefits and experienced benefits, SASE solutions exceeded user expectations in the areas of Remote work connectivity (38% anticipated vs. 59% experienced); security performance (55% anticipated vs. 69% experienced); cost savings (33% anticipated vs. 45% experienced); visibility into the IT environment (33% anticipated vs. 43% experienced) and user experience (44% anticipated vs. 52% experienced)
  • In selecting SASE solutions, respondents see SD-WAN as the most important core capability, followed by cloud access security broker (CASB) and firewall as a service (FWaaS).
  • Value added services also are important. Respondents cite network security (91%); flexibility to deploy security in the cloud or on-premise (91%) and endpoint security protections (91%).
  • Ninety-five percent want a common operating system for their SASE solution; 91% consider it highly important that their SASE solution includes artificial intelligence tools and features and 87% prefer solutions manufactured by three or fewer vendors.
  • Companies want help with SASE: 63% use a managed services provider for deployment and 75% use providers for ongoing SASE management.

“An overwhelming majority of respondents (98%) believe the convergence of network and security is critical or very important,” Franz Chavez, Vice President, Solutions Engineering at Masergy, said in a press release about the SASE report. “We know that building intelligence across disciplines is essential in a world where work is no longer defined by location. Network and security teams require new ways of working together — across all domains and resources with shared visibility to drive actionable insights. That’s where SASE is gaining steam.”

In April, Dell’Oro Group said that the SASE market would grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 116% and have a market value of $5.1 billion by 2024.

Masergy was acquired by Comcast Business last October.

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