Market Insight

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS - Enterprises Want SD-WAN for Agility and Security, Survey Finds

March 08, 2016

Clifford Grossner Clifford Grossner Executive Director & Technology Fellow
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IHS interviewed IT purchase-decision makers at medium and large organizations for its Campus LAN and WAN SDN Strategies: North American Enterprise Survey, which provides new data about how the enterprise LAN and WAN software-defined networking (SDN) market will evolve. The report includes insights on the intent of enterprise buyers to help vendors determine how to invest in product development and how to position their products in the marketplace.

Following are highlights from the 2016 edition of the survey.


“The drivers for enterprises to deploy software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) are clear: agility and security with reduced costs. Automating WAN operations, improving application performance, and branch office security are all necessary for agility.”

- Cliff Grossner, Ph.D.
Senior Research Director, Data Center, Cloud and SDN


  • The initial use case for SD-WAN is virtualizing physical WAN links and optimizing application traffic flow
  • Nearly half of SD-WAN respondents expect capex and opex to increase in the first two years of SD-WAN SDN deployment
  • Respondents evaluating and implementing SDN in the campus LAN want simplified network provisioning, better security, and improved management capabilities
  • 65% of campus LAN respondents have started lab trials or expect to do so by the end of 2016, and 77% anticipate having SDN in live production by 2018


For its 34-page annual campus LAN and WAN SDN strategies survey, IHS interviewed businesses in North America that are evaluating or implementing software-defined networking (SDN) by 2018 for campus local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs), asking them about their strategies, plans, and purchase decisions. The study provides insights into vendors installed and under evaluation, top-rated vendors, and more.


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