IDG Contributor Network: Managing and securing the corporate WAN is the top challenge for network professionals

In December 2017, Versa Networks in tandem with Dimensional Research conducted a survey examining hundreds of participants across five continents with the primary goal of capturing how companies are managing and securing their network across branch locations. In addition, the research also investigated the expected benefits and challenges of a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and revealed trends when compared to a similar survey conducted in 2016.

The survey found that network administrators face many hurdles when it comes to their organization’s WAN. Increasing costs due to the growing traffic volume over existing MPLS networks represented a major headache, followed by information security risks at the branch that could later erupt into a cyberattack or data breach.

But overwhelmingly the research found that managing and securing the corporate WAN represented the top challenge for the majority – 68 percent – of network professionals. And above all else, network professionals cited complexity as a key factor of that challenge. Compounding the problem, network professionals also face IT personnel shortfalls and challenges integrating security and networking products.

Altogether, these challenges have driven more than 85 percent of companies to consider SD-WAN specifically to increase security and reduce sprawl. Perhaps not surprisingly, adoption of SD-WAN has accelerated compared to data from last year’s survey, with more than 90 percent targeting deployment by the end of 2019.