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Breaking barriers to SD-WAN adoption – part 1

August 8, 2018

Bob Laskey   

Blog Contributor

In this day and age, most businesses don’t need to be convinced about going digital to enhance their agility. The more pressing question is how and when to make it a reality.

Given the central role of the network in the age of the cloud-powered enterprise, more and more businesses are leveraging software defined (SD) networking to accelerate their digital transformation and boost their agility across all their operations.

The promise of the WAN evolution

The cloud is well and truly here, and enterprises that are embracing it are able to generate new revenue streams from new business models, adopt more efficient business practices, and introduce more innovative ways of engaging with their customers. So, it’s no wonder that many are now moving mission-critical applications off-premise and into the cloud.

Yet, as the production of cloud applications gathers speed, many enterprises haven’t been able to keep pace with the change. Their existing WANs are often too slow, inflexible, expensive, and not designed for optimal cloud performance.

While many might be keen to rethink their network and go hybrid with an SD-WAN overlay, any changes to this critical infrastructure raises some fundamental questions:

  • How painful will the deployment be and what will happen to the existing infrastructure?
  • How secure can any edge-to-edge network really be?
  • What visibility will IT decision makers have over the entire network? How can they guarantee service levels?
  • Will the solution deployed be future proofed for technology innovations that might emerge further down the line?
  • And crucially, how tightly integrated can the underlying new hybrid network and SD-WAN overlay really be?


These concerns are not uncommon. Industry analysts IDC carried out a survey of over 1,200 enterprises in 2017, asking IT decision makers to select the three most important WAN challenges they faced. The paper, Predictable Internet Connectivity and Investment Protection, outlines IDC’s findings in detail. From security concerns to the need for better analytics, the respondents cited a number of concerns that were holding them back.

The paper provides useful insights to guide IT decision makers looking to adopt an SD-WAN, with a focus on the key challenges and how to overcome them.

In part two of this blog I will discuss the transformational potential of SD-WAN.


Read about whether using the cloud is the right solution for businesses moving into the information age here.