The 4 Tenets of Branch of the Future

Jun 01, 2023
3 minutes

Branch Offices are Facing Fundamental Shifts

The pandemic has introduced highly fluid work behaviors, with 83% of employees preferring hybrid work, resulting in 74% of businesses implementing hybrid work models at the branches. At the same time, the rise of rich collaboration has led to the rapid adoption of cloud and video conferencing applications placing higher demands on bandwidth and performance.

The shift to a highly distributed workforce and applications requires IT teams to do more with less during the current macroeconomic conditions. This includes automating manual and complex day two operations while securing all applications and users at scale. The growth in the usage of IoT devices is estimated to reach 29 billion in 2030 means the same security measures should now be extended to all things. Branch offices face a fundamental challenge to prevent threat actors and maintain high-performing networking in a distributed workforce.

The Branch of Yesterday Won’t Work

The branch of yesterday does not account for the realities of today. Legacy solutions are rigid and complex, with multiple-point solutions constantly needing hardware updates. Additionally, many applications are backhauled through the data center, limiting direct-to-app access and resulting in poor user experience and application resiliency. Moreover, they rely on expensive dedicated private links that need to provide flexibility to accommodate the demand in capacity. Finally, they don’t accommodate the need for Zero Trust security architecture to protect employees holistically, diverse apps, and IoT devices. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) has emerged to solve this problem by converging security service edge (SSE) and SD-WAN to enable high-performing networking and security.

Branches are Evolving and SD-WAN Should, Too

The four key tenets of the branch of the future with SASE provide:

  1. Elastic networks with a next-generation SD-WAN that flexibly support carrier-independent and higher bandwidth connections like direct internet, 5G, and support for MPLS while providing a resilient architecture that supports highly available appliances with seamless failover. Most importantly, this SD-WAN solution should deliver a zero-routing network with a centralized controller-based architecture that seamlessly builds, manages, and updates the network for consistent and uninterrupted connectivity.
  2. An app-defined fabric that directly connects to all apps like SaaS, cloud, internet, and private apps to ensure improved application performance while providing application service-level agreements (SLAs) that deliver application resiliency for the best user experience that improves application availability by accurately identifying apps up to Layer 7 to provide intelligent traffic engineering, prioritization, and load balancing.
  3. Zero Trust security is natively integrated with SD-WAN to enforce true least-privilege access and the promise of ZTNA 2.0 policies to secure direct-to-app access so only the right people get access to the right information and assets. This integration with globally distributed, cloud-delivered security extends to all devices, including IoT, to protect all applications, users, and things.
  4. AI-powered operations that automate all day two operations with always-on observability & segment-wise insights with Autonomous Digital Experience Management (ADEM). ADEM automates event correlation and prioritizes incidents while automating the entire incident management cycle to simplify operations.

Modernize Branches with Next-Gen SD-WAN and SASE

Prisma SASE is the industry’s only complete SASE solution that natively integrates Prisma Access and Prisma SD-WAN to power the branch of the future with next-generation SD-WAN to deliver exceptional user experience, ZTNA 2.0 to protect all users, apps, and IoT, and automates complex IT operations. The same reasons Gartner recognized us as a Leader in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for SD-WAN and Leader in the 2023 Magic Quadrant for SSE.

To learn more about how next-gen SD-WAN and SASE can help modernize and secure your branches. Watch the event on-demand today.