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New 2022 SASE Market Trends Study Shows Solutions Exceed Expectations in Remote Work Connectivity and Security

Digital Services and Distributed Workforce Trends Accelerate Investments, According to CIO Research Sponsored by Masergy and Fortinet

Masergy, the software-defined network and cloud platform for the digital enterprise, and Fortinet, a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, released the results of a new Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) research study from CIO. The findings show recent trends are accelerating investments in SASE solutions with recognized benefits exceeding expectations across five key categories — most notably remote work connectivity and security performance.

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“Above all, organizations that choose solutions rooted in Security-Driven Networking principles will ultimately be the most successful in ensuring optimal security and connectivity between data centers, branches, edges, and a remote workforce.”

This trend is the reason Fortinet and Masergy teamed up in 2020 to deliver a highly differentiated SASE architecture that converges security and networking. The Masergy-delivered SASE offering is built using Fortinet Secure SD-WAN, which converges highly scalable SD-WAN, next-generation firewall, advanced routing, and zero trust network access (ZTNA) into a single solution. Combined with Masergy’s global software-defined network, 24/7 network and security management services, industry-leading service level agreements, and exceptional customer experience, the joint SASE offering helps redefine what is possible for future-thinking businesses.

“An overwhelming majority of respondents (98%) believe convergence of network and security is critical or very important,” said Franz Chavez, Vice President, Solutions Engineering at Masergy, now part of Comcast Business. “We know that building intelligence across disciplines is essential in a world where work is no longer defined by location. Network and security teams require new ways of working together — across all domains and resources with shared visibility to drive actionable insights. That’s where SASE is gaining steam.”

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Other notable findings from the CIO 2022 SASE Market Trends Study include:

  • 94% of respondents say their adoption of SASE solutions has accelerated due to the need to make digital services and/or remote/hybrid work sustainable for the long term
  • The top four challenges driving interest in SASE solutions are:
    • Cloud security, including visibility and control into cloud environments (52%);
    • Innovation, including cloud application migration and artificial intelligence (44%);
    • Security strategy, including implementing Zero Trust (41%); and
    • Network security, including removing connectivity barriers without jeopardizing security (36%)
  • In comparing anticipated benefits against experienced benefits, SASE solutions exceed user expectations in the areas of:
    • Remote work connectivity (38% anticipated vs. 59% experienced)
    • Security performance (55% anticipated vs. 69% experienced)
    • Cost savings (33% anticipated vs. 45% experienced)
    • Visibility into the IT environment (33% anticipated vs. 43% experienced)
    • User experience (44% anticipated vs. 52% experienced)
  • In selecting SASE solutions, respondents prioritize:
    • SD-WAN: Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) came in as the most important core capability with Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) in second place and Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) in third
    • Network, Cloud, and Endpoint Security: When it comes to value-added features, respondents highly rate:
      • Network security (91%)
      • Flexibility to deploy security in the cloud or on-premise (91%)
      • Endpoint security protections (91%)
    • Unified Platform: 95% want a common operating system for their SASE solution
    • Artificial Intelligence (AI): 91% consider it highly important that their SASE solution includes AI tools and features
    • Vendor Consolidation: 87% prefer solutions manufactured by three or fewer vendors
    • Managed Services: Nearly all respondents point to the need for help with SASE, including six in ten (63%) using a managed services provider for deployment and even more (75%) leaning on providers for ongoing SASE management

“As employees return to the office and organizations adopt a more hybrid work model to enable employees to work from anywhere, we see more IT teams finding that, for SASE to be deployed effectively, a Secure SD-WAN platform must be at its foundation and consistent across on-premises and in the cloud,” said Jonathan Nguyen-Duy, Vice President, Global Field CISO, Fortinet. “Above all, organizations that choose solutions rooted in Security-Driven Networking principles will ultimately be the most successful in ensuring optimal security and connectivity between data centers, branches, edges, and a remote workforce.”

Foundry’s CIO — the executive-level IT media brand providing insight into business technology leadership — conducted the research on behalf of Masergy and Fortinet. More than 200 IT decision makers (director-level and above) were surveyed across more than eight industries. Respondents included IT leaders working in U.S.-headquartered companies with at least $2.4B in revenue.

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