Aryaka’s Fourth Annual Global State of the WAN Report reveals network complexity and application performance insights from 1000+ Global Enterprises


Aryaka®, the cloud-first WAN company and #1 end-to-end managed SD-WAN provider, today published its fourth annual global State of the WAN report, a global survey exploring the challenges and opportunities presented to IT network managers around their wide area network (WAN). The report, which surveyed 1,100 respondents, reveals that application performance in remote locations and at the branch is the primary issue UK companies face. With network complexity and its resulting impact on performance now the top blocker to WAN implementation, cost has become less of an issue for respondents who now cite significant investment in automation, security, cloud connectivity, and are looking ahead to 5G.


The future of work, the WAN and the application performance problem

As the number of remote workers increases across the globe, productivity and remote application performance have become more important for EMEA organizations. 45% of UK businesses noted that slow application performance led to poor user experiences for remote and mobile users and is a significant issue faced by IT and support teams. In addition, accessing and integrating cloud and SaaS applications is one of the most pressing issues for UK IT departments, cited by 39%.

With a third of UK organisations regularly using over 500 applications, finding a solution to application performance issues has become urgent for UK businesses. While an agile and secure WAN can address these issues, WAN management is still problematic. The lack of adequate WAN security and the slow performance of on-premise applications are the top issues faced by UK organizations today, cited by 33%. In addition, 31% cite the complexity in managing and maintaining the WAN, along with a lack of visibility into the WAN as additional challenges.

“We are living in a complex multi-cloud and multi-SaaS application world. As global enterprises continue to innovate by embracing new technologies and migrating to the cloud, they also face new challenges, and the network is increasingly a strategic asset” said Shashi Kiran, CMO of Aryaka. “Whether it’s an increasing number of global sites through expansion, poor performing cloud-based applications, increasing costs or the time it takes to manage multiple vendors, many organizations are at an inflection point: transform the WAN now or risk falling behind and losing to competitors.”


New priorities, new needs

Businesses across the UK have acknowledged 5G as the most significant network initiative ahead of them, with 43% declaring 5G investment a priority. At the same time, organisations in the UK are also investing in big data and analytics, 42%, IT automation, 41%, and cloud/SaaS migration, 40%. Organisations are also showing a strong interest in new networking initiatives like cloud and SaaS connectivity upgrades, 39%, and cloud-based network management, 37%.

With the drive towards improved networking, businesses are now less worried about the cost of implementing and maintaining the WAN. In 2018, 40% of respondents across Europe cited high costs as the main concern. In 2019, this number fell to just 14% in the UK and 12% in Europe – lower than the global average of 16%. This responds to a growing market maturity and a better understanding of ROI in SD-WAN/WAN transformation projects.


Barriers to SD-WAN adoption

The adoption of SD-WAN is not without its hurdles. This year’s report revealed fears of increased complexity when deploying SD-WAN – with 36% citing this as the top barrier to adoption. 35% of UK IT managers also stated the technology is “too new”. The third barrier to SD-WAN adoption in the UK is the lack of the right skill sets for 33% of respondents.

Despite these misgivings, SD-WAN is gaining ground: In the UK, 39% are gathering information about the technology, and 30% are already evaluating vendors. UK organisations are also demanding more from their SD-WAN solutions – 42% in the UK demand cloud/SaaS connectivity, 41% want application acceleration and WAN optimisation. Should they deploy one, UK respondents stated they would choose a telco-or MSP-provided option, 32%, over an SD-WAN vendor, 24%.


Companies should avoid losing focus on security

In the rush to transform the technologies in their businesses, companies might be losing sight of security – despite 40% stating security breaches as one of the main drains on European IT teams. Perhaps this is why the majority of respondents, 55% in Europe and 54% in the UK, would opt for a best-of-breed approach to SD-WAN security, 54%, with a managed firewall solution demanded by an overwhelming majority of 86%.

“Our SD-WAN research concurs with Aryaka’s survey results regarding application performance and complexity in enterprise networks,” said Bob Laliberte, Practice Director at ESG. “The desire for a WAN solution that delivers flexibility and simplicity speaks to the growing interest in managed SD-WAN offerings that combine cloud, application optimization, security, and support for remote workers.”


Study Methodology

The fourth annual 2020 State of the Wan study surveyed 1031 global IT and network practitioners, with 238 of these respondents based across Europe. The company size of the respondents also varies: 0 – 100 employees (15%), 100 – 1000 employees (47%), 1000 – 10,000 (32%).


Aryaka to Host 2020 The State of the WAN Webinar

Join us at the following dates/times for a lively panel discussion on the “Aryaka 2020 Global State of the WAN,” where we also present regional observations:

  • North America April 29, 11am EST, 8am PST       Register Here
  • EMEA April 30, 10am GMT                                 Register Here
  • APAC April 30, 1030am IST, 2pm Tokyo              Register Here

This interactive format will allow our panel of experts to deep dive into our 4th annual State of the WAN report, with further analysis of the key findings driving digital transformation.


Download these assets to plan your WAN for 2020

Aryaka 4th Annual Global State of the WAN Ebook

Aryaka 4th Annual Global State of the WAN Infographic

Aryaka’s State of the WAN 2021 Survey is Now Open

For those wishing to offer their insights for next year’s State of the WAN 2021 report, the global survey is now open. As a thank you for participating, Aryaka will host a drawing for three $100 Amazon gift cards. The company will also share the results once tabulated at the end of the year. Click here for more information: Or visit:


For more on Aryaka, please visit: