In part one of this blog I discussed the concerns companies may have when looking to deploy an SD-WAN. The advantages of SD-WAN are aplenty, yet many enterprises would rather stick with what they know – multi-protocol label switching (MPLS). Despite being costly and inflexible, at least it always delivers a deterministic and predictable service. And, having ploughed IT budgets in MPLS WANs at their network edges for years, IT decision makers are understandably reluctant to write off these assets overnight.
As enterprises aren’t sure whether an SD-WAN can do the same job as an MPLS network, they are being cautious and as a result missing out. Not wanting to be an early adopter, and being unsure about having to invest in virtual routers, they are waiting to see what happens before making their next move. Yet, at the same time, their ambition to ride the digital transformation wave is high too.
Some business leaders are beginning to see great potential in SD-WANs, and realising the value of it being a part of their overall business transformation journey. Visteon, for instance, a leading automotive supplier of innovative cockpit electronics and autonomous driving enabling electronic products, is on a similar path. Their move to a cloud-first strategy was triggered by an existing inflexible infrastructure that was impeding innovation and the new pace of business growth. With an SD-WAN solution, Visteon has been able to quickly move into an agile mode to enhance customer experience, business flexibility, and expansion into different geographies including emerging markets like China, without compromising security.
SD-WAN makes business sense
Consider this scenario. An enterprise wants to expand its business by adding five more international offices. Cloud makes it possible to add multiple users to its SaaS subscription in just a few minutes. But, the company also needs to consider other aspects that are critical for the enterprise network – namely security, integrated service levels, optimised user experience, and application provisioning policies for remote and office workers.
This leads them to a hybrid SD-WAN enabled network, because it ticks all these boxes and then some: it creates an agile, flexible platform for business growth while enabling a seamless management of the network through a tight interplay between the overlay and underlay. Moreover, the new network will lead to significant cost savings because the IT team is able to manage traffic and even deploy applications globally in real-time. What would have previously taken a global business with thousands of employees days or weeks, can now be done in an hour.
Taking the first step
As WANs evolve to support applications right from the cloud, an SD-WAN can not only give forward-thinking enterprises the agility, scalability, and network intelligence that the business needs, but also the flexibility of taking existing investments along on the digital transformation journey for future expansions.
After all, an SD-WAN deployment is never just about the nuts and bolts of the network, but about laying the foundations for organisation-wide digitisation. For forward-looking businesses like DHL – which has harnessed cutting edge technologies to reduce its carbon footprint and shape the future of the entire industry – the network is now a business-critical asset.
In order to future-proof this critical asset and replicate the success of digital disruptors like Visteon and DHL, more and more businesses are partnering with global networking specialists. They can help IT decision makers break the barriers of SD-WAN adoption and guide them through the complexities that might come up along the way. To find out more about the ins and outs of moving to SD-WAN in the whitepaper from IDC, click here.
Read more about the business considerations posed by SD-WAN here.