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Businesses uncertain about the value of SD-WAN

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Toria)

Almost four months into the pandemic, businesses are starting to question the relevance of SD-WAN solutions for the remote workforce. According to a new report from Accelerate, half of UK businesses see the technology as ‘less relevant’.

Instead, firms are leaning towards single cloud service model SASE, which combines the features of SD-WAN with cloud-based security. According to Accelerate, businesses believe WAN optimisation performs well enough and would prefer to go for centralised security and a single point of public entry.

Respondents with no plans to deploy SD-WAN claimed it doesn’t support worker access (despite the majority of organisations using SD-WAN saying it does exactly that) and that it is too difficult to find a suitable technology partner or skilled people in-house.

Commenting on the findings, Director of Technologies at Accelerate Darran Clare said the attention shift towards SASE architectures is “natural”.

"We also see concrete proof that WAN optimisation is far from dead, and such services can play a key part in improving the performance of cloud hosted applications where latency is the underlying issue," he said.

"Whilst most SD WAN and SASE vendors will advertise WAN Op capabilities, such claims should not be taken at face value as the scale and depth of application optimisation can vary greatly.”

For the majority of businesses polled for the report, key challenges include managing remote worker performance and support. Almost half reported problems with bandwidth, infrastructure capacity and the increased number of dispersed and unmanaged devices.