Throughout 2021, the adoption of SD-WAN is rapid as businesses realized the importance of software-defined infrastructure. The impact of work from home for health and safety reasons due to COVID 19 has accelerated the SD-WAN market and is expected to surpass $4 billion in 2025. Organizations have started to adopt the ‘new normal' and many are getting ready for a permanent remote workforce. Hence the technologies like SD-WAN have become critical to enabling the transition to remote work.
Here we list the key predictions of SD-WAN and SASE markets in coming years,
SASE is no replacement for SD-WAN
Even though SASE has become a key topic of discussion in the IT security market, it won’t be a replacement for its adjacent products like SD-WAN or on-premises security measures any time soon.
More than a technology, SASE is a convergence of current network & security technologies in a single-entry architecture, that facilitates traffic inspection during transit. Another hand, SD-WAN takes responsibility for a specific entity like a retail location, or headquarters which is near the SASE point. In this case, security measures are taken based on user identity, location, and the type of application they are trying to access.
Many IT security providers are pitching to offer the full stack security offering SASE but never left behind the SD-WAN and other on-premises security platforms and they continue to offer SD-WAN offerings as there is no one size fits all.
Closing the SD-WAN loop with AI Operations
In recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a significant role in managing network operations and automation. AI operations (AIOps) is one of the key initiatives among SD-WAN and managed service providers to identify and resolve security issues more rapidly.
AI-based platforms can detect and perform predictive analytics on relevant data and recommend application performance improvements & bandwidth needs and enhance network output.
At present, AI applications in SD-WAN are limited to evolving issues and cannot address them proactively as they aren’t closed loop. It is critical to close loop as it can make network management easy as well as tolerant to errors. It is expected that AI operations within SD-WAN will evolve and take their stand in 2021.
Remote work could be permanent
Amid the global pandemic, the work cycle has changed drastically. This transition created a space for SASE and other mixes of security abilities as the best choice for IT security teams to protect their environment.
Though SASE and SD-WAN platforms exist before the pandemic, their acceptance and high demand started with remote working. It almost raised the demand of SD-WAN/SASE platform needs many folds in 2021.
As remote work looks to stay for more time in the work culture, and many are shifting towards permanent remote work, the demand for SD-WAN/SASE platforms for holistic security needs.
Nothing can stop SD-WAN and SASE in the near future
It is expected that SD-WAN and SASE will have a steady growth in 2021 and beyond. Not just with large enterprises, even mid-size businesses will start to take advantage of SASE platforms and SD-WAN.
The basic changes in the way companies operate like the transition to remote work permanently and increased use of SaaS applications will drive acceptance of SASE platforms / SD-WAN in time.
Though the acceptance of SD-WAN was less in 2020, later the year, the demand drivers for modernizing WAN infrastructure stays strong, and based on economic conditions and pandemic situation, organizations will invest heavily in SD-WAN and SASE platforms.
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