A global survey of 1,600 enterprise IT decision-makers found more than half are working for organizations that plan to eliminate the use of data centers over the next two years.
The survey was conducted by Aryaka, a provider of a secure access service edge (SASE) platform, and found a quarter of the respondents have closed 25% to 50% of their office sites; 75% of respondents said at least a quarter of their employees will remain remote permanently post-pandemic. Just under a third (32%) expect at least half of their workforce would be permanently remote.
Despite the apparent accelerated shift to the cloud, the report found a full three-quarters of respondents (75%) are projecting at least a 10% growth in IT spending, with a quarter expecting IT budgets to grow 25% or more. diplomatic, more than a third (36%) report they have IT cost concerns.
David Ginsburg, vice president of product and solutions for Aryaka, said the shift to the cloud in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is being driven mainly by digital business transformation initiatives that require applications be quickly built and managed by IT teams that are working from home themselves. With the pandemic entering the third year, a hybrid workforce that regularly shifts between home and the office is now permanent, he noted.
According to, with more people working from home, nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) said they will shift toward a SASE-based approach over the course of the coming year to provide secure access to cloud applications over a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). Over two-thirds of those respondents said they will opt for a managed SASE offering rather than build and maintain these platforms themselves.
SASE was originally coined by Gartner to describe a cloud-delivered service that brought together networking and security offerings. Those offerings should include a firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS), secure web gateway (SWG), cloud access security broker (CASB) and zero-trust network access (ZTNA). In effect, it’s a secure software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN). As organizations adopt SASE-based platforms and services, just under a third of respondents (61%) are recognizing that dynamic bandwidth reallocation will be a very important requirement as workers shift between the office and home.
The transition to SASE involves setting a strategy (35%), phasing out of legacy virtual private networks (32%) and consolidating cloud security with zero-trust (29%). Top desired capabilities include SWG (47%), SD-WAN (36%) and FWaaS (28%). A full 41% reported that responsibility for networking and security decisions have now been consolidated into a single team. However, only slightly more than a third (34%) said security is a major priority.
The implications of a shift to the cloud at this rate and level of scale are likely to have a profound impact on DevOps teams. While cloud infrastructure is designed to scale on demand, accessing applications across an SD-WAN can have a significant impact on application performance. The survey, however, finds only 29% of respondents are concerned about whether applications will perform properly. However, well over two-thirds (69%) said there will be an increased focus on observability and control, while 42% noted identifying slow performance for remote and mobile users will be a key issue and 37% expected slow performance at the branch office to also be an issue. Lackluster application performance is a time sink, according to 42% of respondents.
Naturally, many IT teams will add new tools and platforms to deploy and manage cloud applications. The Aryaka survey found that only slightly more than a quarter of respondents are concerned about the newness of the technology they might employ.
The coming year is shaping up to be incredibly disruptive to the IT landscape. The challenge is making sure balance is maintained between cost, flexibility and application performance.