IHS Markit has found that SD-WAN adoption is high on North American enterprises' priority lists partly because of how SD-WAN supports their priorities: reducing costs, improving application performance and simplifying WAN management.
According to IHS Markit's 2018 Enterprise Edge Connectivity Strategies North American Enterprise survey, 66% of respondents indicated plans to have SD-WAN deployments by the end of 2020. The research is based on a survey of 292 network professionals working in North American enterprise organizations.
"Companies deploying SD-WAN use over 50% more bandwidth than those who have not deployed it," reads the accompanying research note. "Their bandwidth needs are also growing at twice the rate of companies using traditional WANs."
Companies are expecting to increase provisioned WAN bandwidth by more than 30% annually across all site types. Data backup and storage is the leading reason for traffic growth, followed by cloud services.
Moreover, SD-WAN is laying the groundwork for North American firms' cloud transformations. Fifty-one percent of survey respondents say they will use hybrid cloud this year, while 37% report multicloud as on their 2019 to-do list.
The IHS Markit study also revealed that enterprise IT architectures and consumption models are currently undergoing a major transformation, from servers and applications placed at individual enterprise sites, to a hybrid-cloud model where centralized infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) complements highly utilized servers in enterprise-operated data centers. This process allows organizations to bring the benefits of cloud architectures to their own data centers.
SD-WAN solutions help enterprises create a fabric for the multicloud. Features like analytics to understand end-user behavior, enhanced branch security and having a centralized management portal all make SD-WAN an enticing proposition for enterprises looking to adopt a multicloud approach.