What Is SASE and Why Do You Need It?

BrandPostBy CISCO Meraki
Jun 01, 2021
IT Leadership

It has garnered headlines and reports, but how can this combination of networking and network security help organizations with today’s challenges.

istock 1251263509
Credit: blackred

Leaning into change empowers technology leaders to create a more competitive, innovative, and agile organization that builds on today’s solutions for tomorrow’s successes.

Already, enterprises are harnessing change based on the digital groundwork IT teams are preparing.

For example, more and more organizations have implemented the cloud, which is foundational for digital transformation. Because of their cloud adoption, Fortune 500 companies alone could reap more than $1 trillion in additional earnings by 2030 due to benefits such as new lines of business and markets, plus speedier innovation and delivery.

An organization’s transition to a cloud-first, hybrid-work approach initially may seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. The journey to a powerful architecture that combines networking and network security is underway. Enter SASE (Secure Access Service Edge), which integrates networking and security technologies such as SD-WAN, SD-branch, firewall-as-a-service, secure web gateway, cloud access security broker, and zero-trust network access.

Consistent change

Over the past few years, organizations have been shifting workloads and apps from their data centers to multi-cloud environments for an increasingly distributed, hybrid workforce.

Simultaneously, most IT teams run an infrastructure made up of multiple vendors’ technologies. With each vendor they add, an IT organization’s maintenance, management, security, and other workloads increase. Inevitably, these multi-vendor environments are siloed, needing complex, long integrations that typically yield limited visibility (at best). This lack of transparency forces IT teams to spend up to 90% of their time on what should be routine maintenance and upgrades. When unplanned downtime occurs, they must check and test each component within the network.

The pandemic, which required IT teams to support a hybrid workforce nearly overnight, accelerated and amplified these issues.

Now, at a time when many organizations want to disrupt their business models and workforces, IT leaders are being asked to achieve consistency for security and quality of experience (QoE), regardless of an end user’s location or device.

Harvest time

By deploying network and network security technologies with SASE in mind, enterprises will reap value now, and in the future, with this consolidated architecture.

Organizations can expect multiple returns on a SASE strategy. They include:

  • Reduced complexity and costs due to the consolidation of multiple vendors and technology stacks
  • Ability to quickly take advantage of and test new digital business opportunities as end-users become more agile due, in part, to widespread, authorized access to consistent, cloud-based data
  • Enhanced security with consistency across all users and devices, regardless of location
  • Improved productivity with more consistent QoE outside of the office delivered by optimized routing of traffic via a global network of points of presence
  • Better transparency as fewer agents on client devices and consistent access processes simplify the user experience, cutting the strain on IT training and support

Edge’s journey

SASE is a journey, and while it’s only in its infancy, agile and best-of-breed technologies will be key.

For many organizations, components of SASE already deliver value each day. Imagine the power as these siloed solutions converge.

Uniting networks and network security as part of an enterprise’s path to being more agile, more digital, and more competitive may seem formidable at first, but most likely your journey to SASE is already underway.

Meraki gets SASE. We make it simple. Here’s how.