How has Covid affected enterprise networking? WAN Summit delegates reveal all

Over two years into the pandemic, Covid and how network managers have been responding to it still dominates discussion – and as the world starts to emerge into a living-with-Covid setting, this is more vital than ever. So it’s no surprise that when network managers get together, they want to talk about it. This is why the WAN Summit, the vendor-neutral platform for network managers and solution providers, asked an audience of WAN professionals what they thought in a live poll in London.

One key finding was the fact that companies and network managers have responded in varying ways. While 38% said Covid slowed their plans, a further 31% told us they were now speeding network transformation plans up. However, these are generally tweaks rather than ripping up the roadmap – only 12% of respondents have abandoned their plans entirely.

 

The WAN Summit Survey runs every year, and one of its classic temperature checks is how far companies have progressed with their SD-WAN adoption. The number who report progress usually rises every time we ask, and this year it was no different – 33% of our audience have already rolled out SD-WAN to part or all of their network, a big jump on the 19% who said this in 2019, the last time we ran a live poll. There was also a large increase in companies looking to buy, with 29% ‘actively researching vendors and options’ compared to 18% in 2019.

 

With the scale and complexity of security threats ever-increasing, network security becoming more complex to navigate. However, just 25% of firms we asked have a dedicated network security team that operates separately from the WAN team – slightly down on the 29% who reported such a set-up in 2019. Could this explain the 52% of respondents who told us they were looking to change the way they manage network security?