Digital Transformation Is Undermined by Telcos’ Lack of Agility, Finds Cato Networks Survey of More Than 400 IT Executives

May 28th, 2019

Respondents complain about long problem resolution times and lack of innovation with telcos. Strong preference indicated for network providers with cloud attributes.

TEL AVIV, Israel, May 28, 2019 — Cato Networks, the cloud-native carrier, released the findings of its annual enterprise WAN market study today. The report, Telcos and the Future of the WAN in 2019, canvassed 1,621 IT professionals worldwide about how WAN transformation initiatives are being used to support the digital business. The report finds that enterprise IT professionals are turning to managed services for their SD-WAN deployments. At the same time, the survey finds legacy telco services inadequately address customer expectations around speed, agility, and overall value.

“The digital business demands a faster, more agile network to drive growth and compete effectively in the marketplace. Legacy telcos rely on rigid, fragmented, and expensive bundles of point solutions — an approach incompatible with the digital business. To support digital business transformation, IT needs networks that are natively built with the global reach, self-service, and agility of the cloud,” says Shlomo Kramer, co-founder, and CEO of Cato Networks.

Key findings from the report include:

SD-WAN alone cannot address the networking challenges confronting the digital business, pushing respondents to source SD-WANs through service providers:

  • Nearly half of respondents (44%) indicated that they had or were considering deploying SD-WAN within the next 12 months. Last year the number was just over a quarter of respondents.
  • The overwhelming majority of respondents (85%) indicated they would be confronting networking use cases in 2019 ignored or addressed poorly by SD-WAN.
  • 3 out of 4 respondents are sourcing SD-WAN through service providers. Providers are generally better equipped to integrate SD-WAN with other solutions to address broader IT challenges.

Security is essential to WAN transformation and must be considered together with any SD-WAN acquisition:

  • 1 in 2 respondents will need to provide secure Internet access from any location.
  • Defending against malware/ransomware (70%) and enforcing corporate security policies on mobile users (49%) are respondents’ primary security challenges.
  • Nearly half of respondents (45%) pointed to the “cost of buying and managing security appliances and software” as a major security challenge.

With IT tasked with delivering a superb user experience, cost reduction is no longer the primary motivation for SD-WAN:

  • Only 1 in 3 respondents indicated that their motivation for purchasing SD-WAN was to address excessive WAN-related costs.
  • The highest ranked motives for SD-WAN involved improving Internet access (46%), followed by the need for additional bandwidth (39%) and improved last-mile availability (38%).

Legacy telcos are the de facto but not preferred source for network services. Respondents remain dissatisfied with telco agility, velocity, and support:

  • Respondents gave telcos a 54 (out of 100) when asked if they thought network service pricing was fair.
  • On overall experience, telcos scored lower (3.33 out of 5) than cloud application providers (3.70) and cloud datacenter providers (3.71).
  • Only 2% of respondents indicated that telcos exceeded their expectations in delivering new features and enhancements.
  • 46% of respondents reported that moves, adds, and changes (MACs) require at least one business day (8 hours or more).
  • 73% of respondents indicated that deploying new locations required three or more business weeks.

There remains a strong interest in network services with cloud attributes of agility and self-service. Flexible management models are essential to this story:

  • 71% of respondents indicated that telcos take too long to resolve problems.
  • 48% complained about the lack of visibility into telco services
  • 80% preferred self-service or co-management models instead of full management model required by traditional telcos.

To learn more about the growth of cloud-native networks and managed SD-WAN services, download the complete results here.

About Cato Networks

Cato, the cloud-native carrier, provides the only secure managed SD-WAN service built with the global reach, self-service, and agility of the cloud. Cato replaces MPLS and multiple networking and security point solutions with a converged WAN transformation platform built for the digital business. Using Cato, customers easily migrate from MPLS to SD-WAN, improve global connectivity to on-premises and cloud applications, enable secure branch Internet access everywhere, and securely and optimally integrate cloud datacenters and mobile users into the network. Visit and Twitter: @CatoNetworks.

SOURCE Cato Networks
Contact (media only):
Dave Greenfield