State of the WAN 2022
February 28, 2022

Shashi Kiran
Aryaka Networks

Share this

Aryaka has been producing its annual State of the WAN report for six years now. This year's report, the most ambitious yet, surveyed 1,600 global enterprise decision makers from a cross section of verticals about the current and future use of their WANs. This blog highlights the report's four most compelling findings; enterprises are betting on hybrid workplaces; technology investments are on the rise with a focus on digital transformation; increased focus on visibility, observability and management; and the progression/concerns around secure access service edge (SASE) adoption.

The Hybrid Workforce is Here to Stay

While the pandemic forced enterprises to uproot their traditional network infrastructures to better accommodate masses of people working from home or alternate locations, they are coming to grips with a new reality including many issuing decrees that many employees may never return to the office.

Figure 1

The above figure illustrates that no matter where an enterprise is in their network evolution, they are putting a lot of emphasis on employee productivity. And they're doing it through predictable connectivity and collaboration platforms. This has led to increased investments in the WAN, security stack and other infrastructure requirements.

Those enterprises putting money behind real estate are doing so with the mindset to avoid duplicity and cost stacking. As they navigate this change, dynamic bandwidth allocation between sites and users, as-a-service consumption models, and cloud-delivered centralization are all becoming the new standard.

Technology Investments are Up as is the Focus on Digital Transformation

Enterprises that have historically been cost-conscious are now seeing new technologies as a key competitive differentiator. This is seen by their acceleration in spending. But, due to supply chain disruptions, chip shortages and more, we're seeing new initiatives slow down, which is also slowing their pace towards digital transformation. For example, any money saved from real estate, utilities, travel reductions and more are being invested into technology stacks that push transformative initiatives that are keeping their overall budget the same.

Figure 2

In the figure above, it's clear that enterprise cost savings have had a firm impact on network and security budgets. 25% of those surveyed are expecting their budgets to go up by 25% or more, while just about all predicting at least a 10% spike in investments in their network and security infrastructure. What's more, the data shows investment/consolidation occurring with collaboration software, productivity tools and cross-company planning initiatives. This makes sense when looking at it from a hybrid workforce perspective. Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams have become more popular over the last year, and SaaS applications have taken off.

This trend will only speed up cloud-first adoption and will further accelerate SD-WAN adoption and maybe even lay the groundwork for SASE adoption.

Visibility, Observability and Management are Enterprise Fundamentals

The speed of change enterprises have seen during the pandemic has resulted in network architectural shifts that include moving on prem deployments to the cloud, cloud-native application modernization, changes to network security architectures, the shift to as-a-service consumption models, and the unification of formerly siloed technologies.

Figure 3

The survey data really highlighted that enterprise IT operations are looking for increased visibility in these changing times. That, along with monitoring and management are being prioritized. Historically, they had all been considered afterthoughts. In short, today, it's all about observability.

SASE's Promises and Concerns

On a positive note, the "promise" of SASE architectures is compelling. Due to time and cost savings, increased agility, etc., many of those surveyed believe SASE is a tangible option. (See figure 4) Of course, there are those who are more pragmatic, and understand that the shift to SASE is not going to happen overnight, as it will require much planning and evaluating all risk. They know the immense complexity around security and core connectivity. (See figure 5) Those who have rallied behind a multi-vendor strategy, also feel that trusting a single vendor to do everything is a bit concerning. What's not surprising is the growth we're seeing in enterprises evaluating managed SASE solution providers that include SLAs as-a-service.

Figure 4

Figure 5

Shashi Kiran is CMO at Aryaka Networks
Share this

The Latest

September 30, 2022

For businesses with vast and distributed computing infrastructures, one of the main objectives of IT and network operations is to locate the cause of a service condition that is having an impact. The more human resources are put into the task of gathering, processing, and finally visual monitoring the massive volumes of event and log data that serve as the main source of symptomatic indications for emerging crises, the closer the service is to the company's source of revenue ...

September 29, 2022

Our digital economy is intolerant of downtime. But consumers haven't just come to expect always-on digital apps and services. They also expect continuous innovation, new functionality and lightening fast response times. Organizations have taken note, investing heavily in teams and tools that supposedly increase uptime and free resources for innovation. But leaders have not realized this "throw money at the problem" approach to monitoring is burning through resources without much improvement in availability outcomes ...

September 28, 2022

Although 83% of businesses are concerned about a recession in 2023, B2B tech marketers can look forward to growth — 51% of organizations plan to increase IT budgets in 2023 vs. a narrow 6% that plan to reduce their spend, according to the 2023 State of IT report from Spiceworks Ziff Davis ...

September 27, 2022

Users have high expectations around applications — quick loading times, look and feel visually advanced, with feature-rich content, video streaming, and multimedia capabilities — all of these devour network bandwidth. With millions of users accessing applications and mobile apps from multiple devices, most companies today generate seemingly unmanageable volumes of data and traffic on their networks ...

September 26, 2022

In Italy, it is customary to treat wine as part of the meal ... Too often, testing is treated with the same reverence as the post-meal task of loading the dishwasher, when it should be treated like an elegant wine pairing ...

September 23, 2022

In order to properly sort through all monitoring noise and identify true problems, their causes, and to prioritize them for response by the IT team, they have created and built a revolutionary new system using a meta-cognitive model ...

September 22, 2022

As we shift further into a digital-first world, where having a reliable online experience becomes more essential, Site Reliability Engineers remain in-demand among organizations of all sizes ... This diverse set of skills and values can be difficult to interview for. In this blog, we'll get you started with some example questions and processes to find your ideal SRE ...

September 21, 2022

US government agencies are bringing more of their employees back into the office and implementing hybrid work schedules, but federal workers are worried that their agencies' IT architectures aren't built to handle the "new normal." They fear that the reactive, manual methods used by the current systems in dealing with user, IT architecture and application problems will degrade the user experience and negatively affect productivity. In fact, according to a recent survey, many federal employees are concerned that they won't work as effectively back in the office as they did at home ...

September 20, 2022

Users today expect a seamless, uninterrupted experience when interacting with their web and mobile apps. Their expectations have continued to grow in tandem with their appetite for new features and consistent updates. Mobile apps have responded by increasing their release cadence by up to 40%, releasing a new full version of their app every 4-5 days, as determined in this year's SmartBear State of Software Quality | Application Stability Index report ...

September 19, 2022

In this second part of the blog series, we look at how adopting AIOps capabilities can drive business value for an organization ...