Since early 2020, companies have been forced to adopt digital transformation technologies at an accelerated rate. The push for remote work required employees to access secure networks from home resulting in a sharp uptick in the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) market. SASE combines capabilities that organizations increasingly find crucial in supporting distributed workforces, which has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. 

New SASE Market Research Finds Benefits Exceed IT Leaders’ Expectations 

A survey of 200 IT leaders at large corporations (at least $250 million in revenue and an average of $2.4 billion) conducted by Masergy, Fortinet and CIO found that the benefits users are getting from SASE — including improved security, support for remote workforces and increased network agility — exceed even their own expectations. 

Nearly all of the respondents (94%) said the need to make remote work sustainable for the long term has accelerated their interest and investment in SASE and that converging security and networking functions was either critical or very important to deliver on this goal. 

SASE Benefits: Reality Exceeds Expectations 

According to the survey, SASE surpassed the expectations of leaders whose organizations implemented it across five categories:  

  • Remote work connectivity with improved performance/uptime for remote workers. 
  • Improved security performance including security consistency, local security enforcement and compliance. 
  • Cost savings. 
  • Greater visibility such as line of sight into threats, networks and cloud environments. 
  • Improved user experience and greater reliability. 

It’s clear that the SASE market is living up to its promise, but it’s not without its challenges.  

Challenges with SASE Adoption 

It’s interesting to note that the challenges of adoption in the SASE market tended to be varied and none were pervasive, with fewer than half of the survey participants citing any single one. 

The top challenges included:  

  • Implementing and integrating the solution (41%).  
  • Providing the necessary IT expertise, best practices and training (40%). 
  • Eliminating system fragmentation, consolidating tools and avoiding silos (40%). 

Nearly every challenge points to a common theme: tech leaders need help implementing SASE.  

With security as a key component of SASE, it makes sense to rely on outside consultants given the challenges inherent in delivering security for users who may not always be connected to a network.

SASE Market MSP Selection Criteria 

Tech leaders are counting on SASE to help them further their digital transformation efforts by ensuring that they can deliver consistent, high-performance network and security services to employees, no matter where they may be located.  

The CIO survey makes clear that they also want a SASE provider that offers all the features and functions they require in an integrated platform that’s simple to use. 

For better business outcomes, they are looking to converge networking, security and services into one solution, uniting the power of SD-WAN with 24×7 network and security management into a simplified SASE solution —  with one provider, one dashboard, unified security policies and centralized orchestration.  

To read more about the survey results and learn how to select a service provider that can help your organization overcome challenges — Download our free white paper, 2022 SASE Market Trends Study: Benefits Exceed Expectations in Security and Remote Connectivity.

Kat Smith