Businesses across the globe are pushing forward with digital transformation projects as organisations look to increase efficiencies, become more flexible and equip themselves to react quicker to change. From changing work practices and rolling out widescale remote working to introducing new products or services, companies are looking to SD WAN to drive these changes.
Sectors from insurance to shipping are recognising SD WAN as an enabler of change. The insurance sector, for example, typically has smaller site offices spread across countries and territories. Using SD WAN they can connect all these sites in a more cost effective way than MPLS. They can also take control of their network and manage bandwidth according to each site’s unique needs.
Likewise, commercial shipping companies are choosing SD WAN to quickly and efficiently open temporary sites around the world. That flexibility is key to this industry, which is often on the frontline of consumer and market demands, as well as extraordinary global events.
Global retailers are seeing their margins tighten and sales diminish as consumers flock to online channels. Moving quickly and keeping control of underlying costs are critical to retailers; this sector, more than any other, is at the mercy of changing market conditions and trends. An SD WAN is essentially a plug and play solution which means retailers can react faster and connect new stores in record time. Connectivity has become a vital tool to retailers who are using it to embrace digital within their stores.
Increased control for ultimate flexibility
Because SD WAN de-couples the network hardware from the control mechanism, businesses have more control over how the network performs. They can oversee and manage traffic flow from a central dashboard and instantly tweak usage, application priority and bandwidth.
This de-coupling also means businesses can work with more than one provider – connectivity and network intelligence can be separate. During difficult economic conditions, not being locked into long-term contracts with single suppliers and having the flexibility to work with multiple providers is an advantage for global businesses.
SD WAN enables seamless remote working
As demand for remote working increases SD WAN is emerging as a secure and cost-effective way to allow employees to work from home. SD WAN uses each employee’s home internet connection to securely connect back to office. Remote workers become as much an integral and secure part of the network as they would be if they were in the office, with secure access to online firewalls and other IT services – this applies to remote radiologists, contact centre workers, executives who are online from home to cover all time zones and, in these days, most office workers.
Although a typical home broadband solution does include security capabilities, and cumbersome VPN solutions are available, SD WAN offers the potential for delivering an enterprise grade security solution. This makes it a viable proposition for organisations who are moving towards home working. It is important to note that businesses should bear in mind that there is a risk with any move towards remote working and it’s important to manage that risk to ensure that the flexibility of home working doesn’t come at the expense of enterprise security.