SD-WAN revenue to reach USD 6 billion by 2020: IDC

Security, price, simplicity and shift to hybrid WAN drive SD-WAN in enterprises.

Software-defined networking, taking the next evolutionary step as SD-WAN is becoming an increasingly preferred option for enterprises. Market research firm, IDC, forecasts that the market for SD WAN will reach USD 6 billion by 2020. Consistent "security", "price", and "reduced complexity" are the motivators for this interest in adoption.


As many as 36% of respondents in a recent survey by IDC identified consistent security as the top motivator in SD-WAN adoption while 35% and 31% respectively chose price and reduced complexity as top reasons for going for SD-WAN.  


The IDC research also found that: 

  • Faster deployment and optimization of WAN bandwidth also scored high as motivational factors for enterprises considering SD-WAN deployments.
  • There will be a significant shift to Hybrid WAN, often a precursor of SD-WAN, in the next 12-18 months.
  • Key SD-WAN components include Security, WAN Optimization, Policy Control, and Automation.
  • Top SD-WAN use cases which include multiple WAN providers, increased reliability, and direct SaaS provider access.


The emergence of SD-WAN is a relatively recent market development, preceded by the existence of hybrid WAN architectures. SD-WANs leverage hybrid WANs, but incorporate a centralized, application-based policy controller, analytics for application and network visibility, a software overlay that abstracts underlying networks, and an optional SD-WAN forwarder (routing capability) that together provides intelligent path selection across WAN links.


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