The business benefits of SD WAN are just as important as the networking problems it solves. As you embark on your SD WAN implementation, take the time to understand the new opportunities it affords you to optimize your enterprise networks and support your digital business.
The flexibility and agility of SD WAN stem from the fact that it's a wide area network (WAN) that is software-defined (SD). What this means is that networking hardware has been decoupled from its control mechanism. This centralizes the management and operation of a WAN, which has essentially become virtualized—an SD WAN implementation combines your public and private networks to drive better performance.
One of the most important business benefits of SD WAN is that it also provides more granular control of your enterprise networking by automating traffic flow and boosting bandwidth on demand to support the increasing number of cloud and mobile technologies connected to your enterprise. This intelligence powered by software working with your traditional network also frees up your IT teams so they can be productive in other strategic areas of the business.
Most of all, an SD WAN supports your digital transformation as you adopt more cloud services for increased employee productivity and business agility.
How does an SD WAN implementation provide more control and flexibility?
An SD WAN implementation isn't just about deploying the latest and greatest networking technologies. Beyond the technical advantages, the business benefits of SD WAN include optimizing IT resources while increasing the productivity of your IT team. It also speeds the time to market with simplified provisioning and rules-based control while enabling better application performance.
Automate traffic flow and makes bandwidth available on demand
As businesses drown in more and more data, it's important to move it efficiently. This means recognizing that not all network traffic is created equal. A key benefit of an SD WAN is configuring it to automatically prioritize mission-critical traffic and real-time data services based on network conditions or other parameters. The most important business network traffic is routed to the most reliable, high-performance connections—this might include voice over internet protocol (VoIP) traffic, for example, or critical cloud-based applications. Prioritizing certain traffic automatically can address bottlenecks and reduce latency, which contributes to better customer experiences and improved employee productivity.
Centralize and automates network control
An SD WAN makes use of traditional networks while layering on centralized control capabilities that not only allow for better network traffic management but also automated monitoring and offloading of noncritical business applications. Managing traffic through a centralized controller improves overall network performance and security.
Free up resources and IT staff
By centralizing and automating control of your network, an SD WAN can minimize the need for on-site personnel at remote sites and reduce the number of manual tasks on their daily to-do list thanks to automation. And because an SD WAN is inherently smarter, your IT team is spending less time addressing issues created by latency and bottlenecks—users can access their apps and data when they need them. The improved visibility and control also mean any issues that arise can be resolved more quickly.
Enhance security posture
Aside from performance issues, security challenges are what overtax IT teams the most when managing a network. The right SD WAN provides integrated security features such as encryption, next-gen firewall, and other threat intelligence capabilities that can help prevent data loss and downtime while meeting compliance and regulatory obligations.
Simpler is always better when it comes to security and productivity. Even as digital transformation efforts and migrating to the cloud introduce more variables into network management, an SD WAN implementation can help to optimize resources through smarter traffic routing, load sharing, and centralized controls and visibility.