As 2023 comes to a close, it’s a chance to reflect on the changes we’ve seen in the last year, as well as make some predictions for 2024.

For many of us, 2023 was a year without pandemic-imposed lockdowns. Crucially, that has meant many companies having to rethink their working from home strategy, as the pressure to fill empty offices mounts. Many companies, including ourselves, have felt a need to get back that intangible creative spark that seems to come when employees are working in closer physical proximity.

What has become clear though, is that hybrid working is now a well accepted de facto working habit for most of us. Few have returned to working full-time in their offices. According to the 2023 Cisco Global Networking Trends report, two out of five employees work remotely for at least part of the week. The impact this has had on physical infrastructure – the networks that are essential to modern workplace applications – is more evident than ever. Software defined networking, in the form of SD-WAN, continues to grow at pace as a market, with the benefits more apparent than ever when managing today’s disparate workforce. Analysts agree strong growth in the SD-WAN marking, with IDC predicting a market size of $7.5bn in 2027, up from $4.1bn in 2022.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), which encompasses SD-WAN, and the more modern sector of Secure Service Edge (SSE), is beginning to crystallize as an accepted model for the future enterprise network. The widening of the attack surface as devices and applications move beyond the branch, is motivating a push for a more precise and modern security paradigm – zero Trust. SSE includes Zero Trust Network Access technology, crucial for allowing an organization to define polices for application-based access, rather than the wider network segment access that VPN allows.

We expect to see the SASE arena continue to grow through 2024 but in particular, much wider adoption of various components of the SD-WAN and SSE architectures. While some of largest SASE vendors can only see a single-vendor future, many enterprises are likely to ‘hedge their bets’ and instead go for a multi-vendor solution for the foreseeable future. Acquisitions within the SASE market will likely continue apace, as large vendors race to fill the gaps in their offerings without losing ground to the competition.

2024 for Replify

What do these changes mean for Replify and the Replify Accelerator product? We continue to see growth in the market for WAN optimization for organisations with remote branches and a mobile workforce. We’ve had customers this year who have deployed elements of SASE solutions and seen the user experience degrade as a result. They’ve deployed Replify and rather than restoring the previous user experience, they’ve accelerated it.

Of course, Replify’s is also in the unique position of offering its WAN Optimization as a licensable, or white-label component of another vendor’s solution. For many years – more than a decade – the Replify Accelerator has been embedded deeply in many other network solutions, giving vendors a world-class differentiator over their competitors. We see the SASE market as an excellent opportunity to work with vendors to get Replify integrated into their stack. This will give customers the best of WAN optimization while not compromising on security.

To give end-users the best experience, both in terms of security and performance, a client on their device is key. We believe that Replify’s WAN Optimization engine is a perfect fit here, embedded alongside the security related functions of SSE, and sitting on top of the traditional SD-WAN functions. You can read more about this on our Acceleration for SD-WAN and Acceleration for ZTNA pages.

In the short-term, the latest major version of the Replify Accelerator (8.0) is just around the corner, arriving in early 2024. This will be the fastest, most robust edition of the accelerator yet, able to keep pace with today’s higher bandwidth and give users a first class experience using their applications, wherever they may be.

From all of us at Replify, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2024!

The Replify support team will also be available as per usual over the holiday period. If you need any assistance, we are happy to help as always. Feel free to contact support@replify.com.