SD WAN a true enabler of digital transformation

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February 17, 2021
Nick Applegarth

SD-WAN digital transformation Automation

The increase in remote working and working from home has been a key driver in SD WAN adoption as organisations look to implement advanced networking solutions across their ever-more distributed workforce. In our latest infographic we examine the benefits of an SD WAN and how it is supporting the enterprise migration to the cloud.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of SD WAN and looks set to continue to influence the market. According to Markets and Markets the SD WAN market will grow from USD 1.9 billion in 2020 to USD 8.4 billion by 2025, an annual growth rate of 34.5%. But the pandemic is not the mitigating factor in the increasing popularity of SD WAN.

Enabling a cloud-first model

The inevitable migration to a cloud-first environment is another key factor in the growth of SD WAN adoption. With enterprises increasingly relying on cloud-based apps like SAP, ServiceNow, Workday, Salesforce, Office 365 and other mission critical apps, traditional network solutions are creaking under the pressure. But the cloud-enabled deployment model of SD WAN is facilitating the move to the cloud and brings with it the flexibility and reliability so necessary to this dynamic environment.

The way in which organisations access the network today has changed. Employees are choosing mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. The challenge for enterprises here is twofold: how to seamlessly configure all of these new mobility devices in a secure and compliant way, and how to manage the influx of massive mobile datasets travelling on the network. This is where the flexibility and management of an SD WAN comes into its own, and provides a robust network environment that's been designed to flex and move with a more mobile workforce and the associated data spikes.

As organisations' reliance on cloud-based apps continues to grow, the importance of the network is heightened. Apps are now central to day-to-day operations as well as back-office functions which means downtime is not an option. With an SD WAN, organisations are able to prioritise and segment traffic by application and policy, ensuring that critical apps have the necessary bandwidth they require, when they require it. For example, an organisation that relies heavily on collaboration tools for development teams could prioritise that traffic over less critical applications such as guest Wi-Fi or email.

Strengthening security and network transparency

With an SD WAN, IT heads can more efficiently manage the network. A centralised dashboard provides complete oversight of the network in real time, allowing them to better manage application prioritisation, routing and application quality of service. Peaks and troughs in network traffic can be more efficiently controlled, ensuring constant uptime for critical applications at critical times.

For most SD WAN solutions, security is in-built into the SD WAN appliances. The beauty of this is that enterprise grade security can be pushed out to remote locations, including distributed employees working from home. Coupled with these security devices is the complete oversight and real-time management of the network, where IT heads can get a clear picture of potential threats on the network.

Ultimately an SD WAN can help an organisation simplify their network, making it less complex and more agile. As organisations move to a remote work model with a massively dispersed workforce, SD WAN is proving an attractive option for enterprises looking for a secure, future-proofed, cost effective solution.

Is an SD WAN the right solution for my organisation?

• How many of your applications are now in the cloud?
• Has your workforce moved to a remote working environment?
• Are you concerned about security for your remote workforce?
• Do you really know what’s using up your bandwidth?

  View infographic