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Research Shows Data Security, Performance, Drive SD-WAN Decisions

May 20, 2019

A survey found that 58% of IT decision makers put network speed and performance at the top of their priority lists, followed by data security and application performance.

Reduced costs are often the first benefit cited in reports about software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WANs), but a sample of implementers finds that network speed and performance, along with data security, are the leading drivers behind their investments. Networking costs remain a consideration but overall a lower priority.

An IDG survey asked 50 IT decision-makers, from IT managers to CIOs, to report their company’s top three investment priorities. Network speed and performance came out on top overall, at 58%, followed by data security (50%) and application performance (40%). Network costs and revenue growth placed lower in the consolidated top-three rankings, both at 28%.

This data is a good indication that organizations are still largely focused on infrastructure and architecture progress rather than capitalizing on cost savings and transformational aspects of innovation. As organizations move beyond the early implementation and proof-of-concept stages, they’ll be able to exploit the benefits of an application-first approach in which software-based controls increase visibility into what is actually going on within the WAN and provide the ability to steer application traffic to achieve the best performance.

When asked to assess the top features of SD-WAN, 52% of IT decision makers pointed to data security as the top feature, showing close alignment with the top driver behind investments. Intelligent WAN selection was assessed as the most important feature by 44%, followed by privacy of network connections.

Security, intelligent selection, and privacy are the most valued features of SD-WAN


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