The Importance of Telco-Independent SASE
In a hybrid working world
Hybrid workplaces continue to be in high demand
While enterprises have always relied on geographically dispersed teams to gain a competitive edge and pursue strategic growth, ‘remote’ and ‘hybrid’ have become the defining characteristics of work in the post-pandemic world . Gartner’s Top Network Practices to Support Hybrid Work report predicts that by 2026, 75% of workers will continue to split time between home and traditional office locations .
Today, workers don’t just prefer remote or hybrid work environments, they expect it. This puts the onus on organizations to ensure that their network and security infrastructure is set up to accommodate remote work, and is also fast, reliable, and secure.
Going the extra mile to support dispersed workers is especially crucial in tight labor markets . According to World Economic Forum’s 2023 Future of Jobs Report, 20% of organizations surveyed said that offering more remote and hybrid work opportunities was a promising way of increasing talent availability . But before enterprises can proudly proclaim their remote-first status, they’ll need to bear the following in mind .
Key considerations when hybrid-proofing networks
Enterprises across the board are evaluating their current hybrid work capabilities and building strategies to support long-term hybrid work. This includes having discussions with key stakeholders around investing in cloud computing, cybersecurity, next-generation collaboration tools, remote device management and more. However, sustaining hybrid work environments requires significant resources and amid strong economic headwinds, leaders are now being tasked to optimize existing network and security infrastructures to maximize performance and minimize costs.
While Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) have allowed enterprises to connect distributed networks using lower-cost internet infrastructure and be flexible without compromising performance, the need to converge networking and security has paved the way for Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) networks.
Converge your network and security layer with SASE
Modern cloud and multi-cloud environments facilitate remote work, but as networks grow, so does the attack surface, greatly increasing cybersecurity risks. Built on the principles of SD-WAN, SASE allows enterprises to add cloud-scale security capabilities to converge their network and security layers. SASE architecture provides material benefits for enterprises with users and devices distributed across any number of locations through greater control over their networking and security capabilities.
While SD-WAN predominantly focuses on smart routing, the three key security components of SASE networks — Zero-Trust Network Access, Secure Web Gateway, and Cloud Access Security Broker — make it the more logical choice when building full-blown hybrid capabilities .
Not only does SASE bring network security closer to where users work and where applications live, it also allows enterprises to enforce security policies more consistently across devices and environments .
Why telco-independent SASE is the way to go
One size never fits all, especially when it comes to setting up global networks that will need to withstand the demands of an increasingly dispersed, hybrid working environment. Not being bound by any one telecommunications provider or ISP allows enterprises to build more resilient, flexible, and cost-effective edge networks. Here’s how:
Taking a telco-independent or ISP-agnostic approach means being able to pick and choose the best provider for each location as no single provider can offer the best coverage everywhere. Enterprises can benefit from choosing multiple providers at each of their locations, to further improve performance and resilience. While sourcing and managing this connectivity requires a bit of groundwork on the part of the enterprise, it’s also where managed service providers (MSPs) can help.
The telco-independent approach helps enterprises avoid fixed-term contracts with any one provider and explore different low-cost options to build out their edge capabilities. Competition between providers gives enterprises the upper hand when negotiating pricing and service level agreements (SLAs). The Internet connectivity market is changing rapidly, so having access to all available options can materially improve the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the solution.
The SASE needs of an enterprise will depend on what its hybrid work strategy looks like. IT leaders are much more likely to find technologies and services that align strongly with the specific aspects of the SASE deployment strategy by approaching different providers.
Improved access to cloud infrastructure
A key principle of SASE is the adoption of cloud-delivered security services for securing Internet access and protecting the enterprise from malicious traffic. This places a high degree of importance on the path between the enterprise edge and the cloud point of presence (PoPs) and other infrastructure. The telco-independent approach provides a greater level of diversity on the Internet, ensuring that this path remains reliable and consistent.
Naturally, working with multiple providers can result in operational overheads that might be beyond the scope of in-house IT teams. In such scenarios, partnering with specialist MSPs can help businesses fast-track their hybrid ambitions while safeguarding against security risks and accessing falling market prices for bandwidth.
How Coevolve can help with your networking needs for a hybrid world
Coevolve has been providing integrated network and security solutions far longer than the phrase ‘SASE’ has existed in the industry. We know from experience that traditional methods of securing internet access and protecting against malware and other threats are outdated, and that SASE provides a compelling alternative to network security.
As specialists in designing, implementing, managing, and optimizing SASE solutions, we support a range of industry-leading vendors to deliver high-quality, co-managed solutions for our clients.
Talk to us about how you can build a future-fit network with SASE and enable your teams to access business-critical apps securely and without interruptions — no matter where they are or when they need to.