SD-WAN

Three attributes—product quality, availability and quick installation—are priorities for organizations when they select their current software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) managed services provider, according to a new SD-WAN study.

Indeed, it was a photo finish, with product quality (including performance, connectivity, automation, reliability and other factors) being seen as very or extremely influential by 81% of respondents, availability by 80% and quick installation by 79%.

The research was conducted by conducted by Hanover Research and commissioned by GTT, a global managed network and security services provider. Researchers surveyed IT, operations and network security decision makers from organizations in the U.S. and Europe that have more than $100 million in annual revenue.

Over three quarters (77%) of the organizations surveyed said they use a managed services provider for SD-WAN.

SD-WANs enable a company to improve network performance and reduce costs by providing two types of connectivity to individual locations – for example, MPLS for mission critical traffic and less costly direct internet access (DIA) for less critical traffic. SD-WAN technology allocates traffic between the two types of connections based on pre-established parameters and based on network conditions at any point in time.

SD-WAN Study

Another important survey finding was that a strong majority of organizations feel that partnering with a managed service provider is a better path than deploying SD-WAN through traditional network aggregators. Ninety percent of respondents called working with a managed service provider for their SD-WAN deployments very beneficial (65%) or extremely beneficial (25%).  

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said that the ability to use the same provider for other network infrastructure was important. The percentages finding this very and extremely influential were equal: 34%.

Perhaps surprisingly, price was not one of the biggest considerations. Twenty percent said that it is extremely influential and 34% said it is very influential in making SD-WAN decisions.

Despite the emergence of secure access service edge (SASE) services, SD-WAN security concerns remain the top “pain point” for survey respondents. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said it was a top five concern. It was followed by high maintenance costs, reduced performance during high traffic periods, network bandwidth congestion, and complexity of set-up and management.

“Rapid innovation and security convergence through frameworks like SASE are driving shorter cycles for solution reviews and upgrades,” Tom Major, GTT’s  senior vice president for product management said in a press release.

“Managed service providers can help organizations address their need to evolve, based on the ongoing technological innovations in this space, as well as the added complexity of selecting the best networking, security and connectivity for their businesses to align cost, performance and security requirements.”

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