SD-WAN gaining momentum in Australia but enterprises need long-term network strategy

  • Nearly 60% of enterprises already implemented SD-WAN in Australia
  • As businesses accelerate the migration to the cloud, the underlying network will play an important role

Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) has taken off quicker in Australia than some other markets partly due to the migration of last-mile access to the National Broadband Network (NBN). However, as the market is highly competitive companies need to have a long-term network strategy to adapt swiftly to the evolving traffic patterns, says GlobalData.

GlobalData’s research reveals that nearly 60% IT enterprises (with more than 200 employees) have already deployed SD-WAN and one in three are considering implementing it in the next 12 months.

Siow Meng Soh, Senior Technology Analyst at GlobalData, says: “While cost saving has been part of the motivation to adopt SD-WAN, better security and network management is also a key benefit.”

Supports remote working

Together with wireless connectivity, SD-WAN supports remote working in terms of agility, employee wellbeing and business continuity considerations. SD-WAN over Internet (especially through 5G) can deliver a better work-from-home experience. However, the market is highly fragmented with many technology vendors offering their products in Australia.

GlobalData’s research shows Cisco and VMware neck and neck, ahead of the pack; but Aryaka, Silver Peak and Fortinet are also popular with each having over 10% of market share in Australia.

SD-WAN has changed the competitive landscape of the WAN market in Australia and opened up the playing field. Several system integrators see ‘corporate networking’ as a natural adjacency to their cloud, IT, security or professional services business.

Soh continues: “With several SD-WAN vendors trying to gain market share, they are working with different channel partners including system integrators, value-added resellers and local providers. Expanded choice is changing buying behavior.”

GlobalData’s research finds that nearly 10% of the enterprises are interested in buying SD-WAN directly from the vendor and nearly 20% indicated the telecom operator as their preferred option.

Majority enterprises see SD-WAN as OTT option

Soh explains: “It is evident that potentially 80% of the enterprises are considering SD-WAN as an over-the-top (OTT) solution. This comes at a time when the network has taken a new importance in the current work-from-home environment.”

As businesses accelerate the migration of IT to the cloud, the underlying network will play an increasingly more important role in connecting applications and data to the end-users.

Soh concludes: “SD-WAN has a bigger role to play as businesses look to simplify branch networking, increase the use of cloud-based services and adopt remote working. As a result, companies need to also have a long-term network strategy instead of treating SD-WAN as a standalone solution which delivers quick fixes.”