The News: AT&T Business makes the case for a key managed services provider role for organizations in their Secure Access Secure Edge (SASE) deployments. The architecture model known as SASE has been gaining momentum, largely due to the fact that the SASE model provides a variety of benefits. These benefits include reduced complexity of management, improved network performance and resiliency, security policy implemented consistently across office and remote users and lower operational expense. Read the AT&T Blog here.
AT&T Business Makes the Case for Key Managed Services Provider Role across SASE Journeys
Analyst Take: I believe the case AT&T Business is making for organizations to work with MSPs to advance their SASE journeys is a solid, timely one, whether companies hire AT&T for those services or another managed services provider.
SASE deployments can be complex and organizations will more than likely have unique, distinct sets of SASE requirements, and that’s where the value of working with an MSP comes in. In many of those instances, MSPs are well-suited to help meet those requirements. That’s because SASE is a multi-pronged solution, and one that can require the blending of an array of technologies and skill sets such as cloud/edge, WAN/connectivity, and cybersecurity/policy. There are not always skills that organizations have in abundance within their IT teams and organizations as a whole and working with a managed services provider can bring these top level skills and expertise to bear, which can not only speed time to value, but deliver in a very cost effective manner. In addition, MSPs can provide the AI/ML capabilities needed to ease SASE implementations across multi-vendor, multi-layer, and multi-cloud environments. In sum, rather than taxing the internal resources of an organization, working with an MSP can make the entire process an easier one.
In proposing the use of MSPs as part of the SASE journey, AT&T Business highlights some key benefits MSPs can deliver to organizations across their SASE implementations. These benefits speak, in general, to the overall value proposition of working with a MSP partner, and can help accelerate time to value and scale, provide expertise as it relates to security and networking, solution integration, and development experience and capabilities.
From my perspective, security has become an increasingly major source of rising network operations costs, with security management often requiring more resources than network management. For many enterprises, security is an intricate affair that requires administration of multiple functions and layers with extending security throughout distributed workforce and WFH adding to the complexities. Factor in enterprises that are growing their presence across remote sites, including across international footprints, and the challenge of recruiting and retaining skilled security specialists becomes more acute.
Key Takeaways on AT&T Business Advocating Key Managed Services Provider Role in SASE
Bottom line, it’s not surprising to see AT&T Business positioning the company’s capabilities as a managed services provider specific to SASE deployments — there is no doubt a MSP can provide an assist to many organizations on their SASE journeys. I anticipate that the SASE architecture aligned with strategic support from MSPs such as AT&T Business and others are well suited to meet the challenges of assuring organization-wide security across distributed workforces in the multi-cloud era.
The key SASE areas I expect MSPs need to make a difference is providing the automated secure connectivity, streamlined operations, unified administration and policy, and pervasive visibility and insights that can deliver the predictive maintenance and proactive oversight needed to reduce human intervention and costs as well as affordable scale. I foresee AI/ML engines becoming integral to fulfilling such MSP administered SASE objectives.
As organizations expand their consideration and adoption of SASE implementations, I believe MSPs, including AT&T Business and others, are well-positioned to capitalize on meeting the multi-prong requirements of delivering organization-wide SASE benefits.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
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Image Credit: AT&T Business
The original version of this article was originally published on Futurum Research.
Ron is an experienced research expert and analyst, with over 20 years of experience in the digital and IT transformation markets. He is a recognized authority at tracking the evolution of and identifying the key disruptive trends within the service enablement ecosystem, including software and services, infrastructure, 5G/IoT, AI/analytics, security, cloud computing, revenue management, and regulatory issues.