GigaOm Key Criteria for Evaluating Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) Solutionsv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. SASE Sector Brief
  3. Decision Criteria Analysis
  4. Analyst’s Outlook
  5. About Ivan McPhee

1. Executive Summary

Secure access service edge (SASE) is a security framework that converges network security functions with wide-area networking (WAN) capabilities to support the dynamic secure access needs of organizations. Delivered primarily as a cloud-native service, SASE enables organizations to apply consistent security policies and network management across all users and devices irrespective of their location, providing a robust security posture.

SASE integrates several key components, including a cloud access security broker (CASB), firewall as a service (FWaaS), secure web gateway (SWG), software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), and zero-trust network access (ZTNA). These components work together to provide secure, optimized access to network resources from any location, making it particularly beneficial for organizations heavily reliant on cloud services or those with a significant number of remote workers.

Despite being a relatively new technology—the term “SASE” was coined in 2019—SASE is evolving rapidly, with significant progress in product maturity and market adoption rates. While the first phase of SASE consisted of enterprises using multiple vendors to put together their SASE stack, the market is now moving towards single-vendor implementations, with vendors able to deliver true converged security and networking focused on meeting customer needs. However, prospective customers should be aware that while some vendors have developed a fully integrated SASE solution with a single policy engine, others have integrated a suite of point products at the user interface (UI) level only.

Business Imperative
Deploying SASE is crucial for organizations that require secure, optimized access to network resources from any location. SASE simplifies and optimizes network access by converging networking and security operations into a single cloud-delivered service, reducing complexity and cost. Moreover, it provides secure, scalable, and efficient access to critical applications from any location, enhancing security coverage and user experiences (UX), which is vital in today’s mobile and cloud-centric work environment. Lastly, SASE’s cloud-native nature enables unlimited scalability to support business growth, making it a strategic investment for future-proofing an organization’s network infrastructure.

Sector Adoption Score
To help executives and decision-makers assess the potential impact and value of a SASE solution deployment to the business, this GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a structured assessment of the SASE sector across five factors: benefit, maturity, urgency, impact, and effort. By scoring each factor based on how strongly it compels or deters adoption of SASE, we provide an overall Sector Adoption Score (Figure 1) for SASE of 4.6 out of 5, with 5 indicating the strongest possible recommendation to adopt. This indicates that SASE is a credible candidate for deployment and worth thoughtful consideration.

The factors contributing to the Sector Adoption Score for SASE are explained in more detail in the Sector Brief section that follows.

Key Criteria for Evaluating SASE Solutions

Sector Adoption Score







Figure 1. Sector Adoption Score for SASE

This is the first year that GigaOm has reported on the SASE space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This GigaOm Key Criteria report highlights the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and non-functional requirements (business criteria) for selecting an effective SASE solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those decision criteria. Together, these reports provide an overview of the SASE and its underlying technology, identify leading SASE offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and non-functional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.

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