Organizations have welcomed digital transformations as a way to keep pace with emerging trends, a way to cater to consumers and means of outpacing the competition. However, traditional network architectures commonly struggle to handle the workloads and complexities associated with digital transformation initiatives. Worse, business critical services are often distributed across several clouds, which can compromise network performance (especially within branches).

To resolve such issues, network operations teams have turned to software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). SD-WAN benefits organizations through reduction of costs and enhanced network performance. SD-WAN solutions circumnavigate expensive routing and reduce hardware expenditures while presenting your organization with flexible multi-cloud service options. Adoption of SD-WAN is especially appealing as organizations trim costs and support new applications and services in the age of working-from-anywhere.

SD-WAN technology provides a myriad of advantages, including the following business benefits:

Top 5 ways SD-WAN can seamlessly support your organization

  1. Improves performance. Network traffic isn’t necessarily created equally. Fortunately, operators can configure SD-WAN to prioritize business critical traffic and real-time services such as Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) and can then guide traffic across the most efficient route. The facilitation of critical applications through high-performance connections allows IT teams to limit packet loss and latency issues. This can improve employee productivity and staff morale, resulting in authentic business performance impact.
  2. Boosts security. Digital transformation is a double-edged sword in some ways. Although digital transformation can increase customer satisfaction and extend market reach, it can also present significant security risks. This is concerning, as CISOs are already battling fresh ransomware threats, sophisticated email attacks and nation-state actors. The positive news is that many SD-WAN solutions have built-in security. Nonetheless, the basic firewall and VPN functions offered by most SD-WAN solutions are usually inadequate. This pressures IT teams to overlay security across elastic and dynamic SD-WAN connections after installation. Organizations can avoid this by seeking out SD-WAN solutions that provide a comprehensive set of integrated security features, including NGFW, IPS, encryption, sandboxing capabilities and more. Together, these features can help your organization avoid data loss, downtime, legal liabilities and regulatory violations.
  3. Limits complexity. Digital transformation efforts can increase complexity on a network. Results can range from power network performance issues to over-taxed IT teams. In some cases, organizations have had to locate onsite personnel working in other locations to manage local IT infrastructure. Fortunately, SD-WAN can limit the IT burden by simplifying WAN infrastructure, leveraging broadband to off-load non-critical business applications, automating monitoring tasks, and providing increased traffic visibility. Seek out an SD-WAN solution that can also integrate into local branch infrastructure, driving security and management for local LAN.
  4. Increases cloud usage. Cloud service adoption is growing. To that effect, SD-WAN enables direct cloud access at the remote branch. This eliminates backhauling of traffic, allowing employees to directly access cloud applications regardless of location without burdening the core network with further traffic in need of management and security. In addition, SD-WAN enhances cloud application performance via prioritization of business critical applications and facilitating direct branch communications with the internet.
  5. Cost reduction. As businesses adopt an increasing number of cloud-based apps, the quantity of data zooming across WAN increases exponentially. In turn, organizations see increased operating costs. A major SD-WAN advantage includes its ability to reduce this expense by providing direct cloud access, leveraging low cost local internet provisions, and reducing traffic volume across backbone WAN.An analyst-firm survey indicates that nearly 25% of network operators or owners anticipate that SD-WAN will yield a cost-savings upwards of 39%. Two-thirds of respondents anticipated more modest saving of 5-19%.

Further, when SD-WAN is deployed, it can be extended deep into the local branch LAN to establish security and network functionally for locally deployed devices and to ensure secure communications with SaaS applications and other online platforms. Reducing network complexity, limiting security risks and crushing inconsistent performance represent key business advantages associated with SD-WAN migration. For the most innovative of organizations, SD-WAN can offer exceptional benefits; including lower total cost of ownership and much improved support for sophisticated SD-Branch initiatives.

For more expert insights into SD-WAN solutions, see CyberTalk.org’s past coverage. In addition, be sure to see CyberTalk.org’s SD-WAN Buyers Guide.

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