McKinsey CIO Survey Highlights Cloud Adoption Changing the Enterprise WAN


According to a recent survey from McKinsey & Company, CIOs and IT Executives from a variety of industries are now moving more of their IT workloads to cloud services.

For legacy networks and edge-device providers who still think third-party cloud services are a passing fad, the writing is on the wall. Here are a few key points we discovered from the survey’s findings, and how they will impact the enterprise WAN.

1. Enterprise cloud migration will mean changes to the network
By 2018, large enterprises are expected to reduce on-premises workloads and increase reliance on cloud services.

According to the survey, public and private clouds are expected to gain 20% more enterprise primary workloads. This means private links that led from the branch office or headquarters to the corporate data center will soon become irrelevant or obsolete.

MPLS connections cannot be used for connecting to platforms hosted outside their company’s network infrastructure. Therefore, they must backhaul the data through the corporate data center to the internet and back again. An incredibly inefficient method of application delivery.

Enterprises migrating to the cloud, especially those with global branch offices, will need to look at new forms of network infrastructure to ensure end-users are able to receive fast, reliable, and secure access to growing cloud workloads.

SD-WAN has been looked at by many enterprises as that next step in this transformation, but not all SD-WANs are created equal. The right SD-WAN deployment will provide employees with fast and consistent access to their data and applications, while also reducing network costs for the business.

To learn more, download our latest white paper, “Top 5 SD-WAN Myths: Busted.”

2. Faster Time to Market Will Be a Factor in Cloud Adoption
The movement to the cloud provides an enterprise with the agility to scale at their desired speed. With any cloud platform or SaaS application, an end-user simply has to point straight to the URL and they have access.

Legacy networks, such as MPLS do not have the same agility. They take weeks or months to build and deploy. More importantly, they are not designed for cloud and SaaS application delivery. This undermines the benefits to cloud migration altogether.


Improvements in internet bandwidth and quality have made it more ideal for an enterprise to gain access in regional use cases. However, the internet lacks security, and is not equipped to for cloud and SaaS application performance due to latency and packet loss, especially as data travels across continents and oceans.

Global enterprises will need to look toward private WAN connectivity that is secure, can be deployed as quickly as their cloud and SaaS applications, and enables them to have fast and reliable access to their on-premises, cloud and SaaS environments.

In order to deploy such a network, businesses must look toward SD-WAN providers that have their own global private network, with points of presence located throughout the world. Traffic through a global private network is able to bypass the public internet to avoid congestion and packet loss. This delivers enterprise-grade cloud connectivity to remote employees, partners, and mobile users anywhere in the world.

3. IT Will Move From a Construct to Consume Model
The survey also highlighted the movement enterprises shifting from building on-premises environments to consuming virtualized models over the next three years. This fundamental shift started with data centers and applications moving to cloud, but this in turn changes the needs for an enterprise WAN.

As mentioned before, businesses can no longer wait weeks or months to build out the infrastructure necessary to connect their offices around the world. They need access to connectivity that is already in place and provides them with fast application delivery, in addition to seamless connectivity around the globe.

4. Is Security a Barrier to Cloud Adoption?
One of the main concerns about migrating to the cloud discovered in the survey is that enterprises are wary about the security involved with moving applications and workloads outside the corporate data center.


However, one key capability of an SD-WAN managed service that it owns their private network. They can offer built-in, multi-layer enterprise-grade security: including network security, physical security and access control. This means they can maintain a robust end-to-end encrypted platform to meet internationally accepted security practices.

Managed IT services have key advantages
IT leaders are rapidly adopting managed cloud networking services for their global connectivity needs, including global SD-WAN.

There are numerous advantages with this migration to managed global SD-WAN services.

  • Zero CapEx
  • Lower OpEx
  • Better utilization and focus of IT resources
  • Superior network agility
  • Faster connectivity to cloud-hosted apps
  • End-to-end security.

A global SD-WAN delivered as a managed and integrated service, can have built-in WAN optimization and multi-level security – end-to-end. Cloud apps are accelerated and secured from host to end-user. Enterprises don’t have to buy, configure, deploy, and maintain expensive WAN optimization and security in each remote site.

McKinsey’s findings bring to light many of the issues a global managed SD-WAN service solves, as more applications move from the corporate data center to the cloud. A global SD-WAN service running over a private global network that is purpose-built for small, medium, and large enterprises can provide LAN-like connectivity to applications hosted in cloud services.

If you company is completing a cloud migration, or is in the process of one, we invite you to try a free proof of concept today and see how Aryaka can improve your network today.

About the author

Gary Sevounts
Gary Sevounts

Gary Sevounts is the Chief Marketing Officer at Aryaka Networks, and is responsible for Aryaka’s global marketing efforts. He has extensive experience with software and SaaS products in the IT infrastructure and security space, as well as marketing and sales technology, having held marketing and product management leadership roles with a number of industry leaders.