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81% of IT Pros Say Hybrid Work Drives Demand for SASE and Zero-Trust Networking

CIOs, CISOs and IT leaders are drowning in complexity as they manage hybrid workforces, cloud adoption and the ever-evolving threat landscape. A new report from Aryaka, the leader and first to deliver Unified SASE as a Service, reveals that Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) are rapidly becoming essential tools for navigating this complex environment.

The Secure Network Transformation Report 2024 surveyed 202 IT, security and network professionals, director-level and above, across North America, EMEA and Asia. The findings paint a picture of the industry’s changing landscape and highlight key emerging trends:

  • Hybrid Everything Drives Demand for Flexibility: The rise of hybrid work arrangements, coupled with hybrid infrastructure and security deployments, is fueling the need for adaptable and secure network solutions. A significant 81% of respondents say hybrid work is driving demand for SASE and zero-trust networking. This highlights the critical role these technologies play in connecting a complex, hybrid world.
  • SASE and SD-WAN: The Pillars of Modern Network Security: SASE and SD-WAN are no longer seen as niche solutions. The survey found that a staggering 84% of respondents believe SASE is either “mature” or “somewhat mature,” with an even higher number (91%) saying the same about SD-WAN. This maturation positions SASE and SD-WAN as trusted, complementary tools for modern network security strategies. SASE integrates security features with SD-WAN’s network optimization capabilities, ultimately simplifying management and strengthening security.
  • Network and Security Convergence: A sizable majority (70%) of respondents indicated that they see value in converging SASE and SD-WAN solutions. The primary benefits for doing so are multi-pronged. 34% want more robust network operations and security, 24% want less operational burden and 19% want vendor consolidation.
  • Zero-Trust Networking is a Cornerstone of Hybrid Work Security: As more organizations embrace hybrid work, securing access points becomes paramount. The survey revealed that 64% of respondents consider zero-trust security a crucial component of SASE for hybrid work deployments.

The Secure Network Transformation Report 2024 also delves deeper into other industry trends. For example, the exponential growth of cloud-based applications and services, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), is placing a notable strain on traditional network architectures. These modern applications require secure, high-performance connections that can dynamically adapt to changing traffic patterns. The report found that 67% of respondents see managed services and SASE playing a greater role in managing these complex environments.

Additionally, the report explores the shift in enterprises moving away from expensive legacy Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) services, with 76% planning to eliminate MPLS, either in the immediate future or in the next 2-3 years. Moreover, 10% of respondents have already eliminated MPLS completely.

“Our report shows that the IT and network security landscape is undergoing a major transformation driven by the rise of hybrid work models and the ever-increasing adoption of AI and cloud-based applications and services,” said Pete Harteveld, Chief Revenue Officer at Aryaka. “Aryaka is listening to its customers and the IT industry at large to deliver innovative solutions that address businesses’ most pressing needs. Our Unified SASE as a Service combines a unified single-pass architecture, global private network backbone, and security, observability and application performance capabilities into a single platform. That alone is unprecedented, but we also deliver it as a service, providing the security as well as the flexibility and affordability today’s IT leaders require.”

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