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SD-WAN for the Modern Enterprise

In 2020 many businesses were forced to shift and adapt to remote working environments, which often included temporary networking solutions, to keep their teams functioning, and their customers satisfied. By the end of the calendar year it became clear that many of these remote workforce arrangements may not be temporary.

Utilizing remote workforces doesn’t directly impact an organization’s need to consider a technology like SD-WAN, but the indirect effects play an important role in why the powerful and agile capabilities of SD-WAN are a top priority for companies addressing their technology strategies.

What is SD-WAN?

A Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a virtual networking tool that allows organizations to leverage any combination of connectivity services (broadband internet, MPLS, LTE, etc.) to securely and reliably connect users to applications and business tools.

The benefits range from simplified management and better application performance, to enhanced security and flexibility—all typically combined with improved economics.

Why SD-WAN now?

In the past few years, we’ve seen several critical trends in business that support the prioritized integration of SD-WAN.

Increased dependency on cloud-based business solutions

Businesses of all sizes are simply relying on cloud technology to achieve their goals now more than ever. As many as 64% of company executives recently polled by IBM suggest they are implementing a shift to cloud-based business activities.

SD-WAN can dramatically increase the performance of these cloud solutions resulting in more reliable access to applications, consistent connectivity to services, and more uninterrupted workflow.

Increase in VPN and other expensive, outdated services

It’s important to note that 2020 accelerated many technology initiatives and likely hastened decisioned making. Without access to the resources and information they need, companies are looking to the solutions they know and trust to address their technology challenges. This means some organizations may be missing out on the opportunities to adopt newer technologies that are better suited to support their business goals.

The Key Benefits of SD-WAN

  • Network Reliability

    This simple demonstration illustrates the flexibility and agility of SD-WAN solutions and the impact it has on the reliability of your network, applications, and communications.

  • Bandwidth Priority

    SD-WAN allows organizations to dynamically prioritize connectivity for essential communications and other business tools based off real-time conditions. This increases the quality, clarity, and productivity of phone calls, virtual meetings and other critical business applications.

  • Cost

    SD-WAN affords organizations the ability to obtain high-speed, yet low-cost connectivity options for each location in replace of expensive MPLS services without compromising security or performance.

  • Security

    Some SD-WAN solutions offer leading edge security features, such as SASE, that are able to help protect their data and communications from breaches and threats.  The combination of intelligent routing and security could also help reduce an organizations edge hardware footprint.

  • Scalability

    A centralized management structure offers organizations higher visibility and greater flexibility. Adding locations can take minutes as opposed to days (or even weeks or months) with traditional services like MPLS. This means a faster response to growth opportunities without the increased risks and vulnerability that can come with ad hoc or outdated solutions.

Work-from-Home

While SD-WAN isn’t typically seen as a remote workforce solution, providers are responding to the changing landscape of the modern workplace. We’re seeing more partners introducing cost-effective SD-WAN solutions for WFH environments. In many cases, remote employees can enjoy increased productivity, clearer communications, and reduced frustration—benefits that far outweigh any added expense.

Getting Started

Like most business and technology services, not all SD-WAN solutions are the same. Identifying the right services, packages, and providers is a critical step in the successful integration of new technologies. An IT Sourcing Agent can typically offer exceptional value in these areas for little to no extra cost. The most effective agencies take time to clearly understand your business needs, offer vendor-neutral guidance, and often reduce the amount of time and company resources needed to complete projects. Partnering with the right agency also often results in access to preferred pricing otherwise unavailable to consumers.

Questions?

If you have questions about the right technology solutions for your business, we’re here to help. Give us a call or shoot us an email to schedule a time to chat that works for you.

Get started today!