U.S. Leads in Software-Defined Networking Adoption, Reports ISG

DateJul 4, 2024

Software-defined networking (SDN) is experiencing significant growth in the United States as enterprises move away from rigid network infrastructures to achieve digitalization and cloud migration. This trend is highlighted in a new research report by global technology research and advisory firm, Information Services Group (ISG).

The 2024 ISG Provider Lens Network – Software-defined Solutions and Services report for the U.S. reveals that the U.S. was the largest market for software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WANs) in 2023, capturing nearly one-third of global demand. U.S. companies are increasingly adopting technologies that benefit from SDN, such as hybrid clouds, big data, edge computing, automation, and AI.

“The move to the cloud is not finished yet,” said Dieter Thompson, partner and president of ISG’s Network and Software Advisory business. “SD-WANs help to enable smooth, secure cloud migration by reducing complexity and risk.”

SD-WANs and related technologies may simplify enterprise networks by transferring the control layer to the cloud and integrating previously separate resources and processes. This transition offers organizations greater flexibility, enabling real-time network management and monitoring through automated orchestration and policy-based operation.

Many U.S. enterprises are advancing further innovations based on SD networking, including intent-based networks, core-to-edge security solutions, and 5G mobile and remote-site connectivity. Often, these advancements are realized through managed or co-managed SD-WAN services. Companies are also enhancing their security infrastructure as they adopt SD-WANs, integrating secure access service edge (SASE) solutions. SASE combines SD networking and security components in the cloud, transitioning from pilot projects to commercial deployments with expected accelerated adoption in the coming years. Additionally, some enterprises have implemented secure service edge (SSE), a subset of SASE with cloud-based security tools.

Reducing Costs

The adoption of SD-WAN is predicted to grow rapidly among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the U.S. Many SMEs have distributed workforces and require cost-effective, cloud-based collaboration systems that are easy to manage. Implementing SD-WANs as overlays and purchasing them as a service can help SMEs reduce costs.

“U.S. enterprises seek a competitive edge through efficiency, flexibility, business continuity, and hybrid work,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Providers are delivering tailored SD networking tools and services to help them succeed.”

The ISG report also delves into other SD networking trends in the U.S., such as the increasing importance of edge technologies and the adoption of advanced networking as a service to enhance customer and employee experiences.

The 2024 ISG Provider Lens Network – Software-defined Solutions and Services report evaluates the capabilities of 40 providers across four key quadrants: Managed SD-WAN Services, SDN Transformation Services (Consulting and Implementation), Edge Technologies and Services (including Private 5G), and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).

Businesses in the U.S. can take advantage of these technologies to make their processes more flexible, secure, and efficient as the demand for SDN solutions continues to grow. This ongoing change is part of a larger trend toward network infrastructures that are more flexible and quick to respond, which is causing the digital transformation in many areas.

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