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What is the deal with SD-WAN?

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With most modern companies now relying on IT equipment and introducing new concepts such as IoT (Internet-of-Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence), the increased complexity in setup requires organisations to rethink their digital strategy and network planning. To stay competitive and agile in the modern world of connectivity, many companies are realising the benefits of solutions such as Software-Defined Wide Area Network (WAN).

In this article, we will review the increasing necessity of cloud-based solutions for business and how they are of great support to organisations that rely heavily on their IT infrastructures stability. 

The competitive attractiveness of the cloud

Along with the shift towards greater digitalisation in business, the continued rise and development of cloud-based solutions and cloud computing are also transforming many companies’ digital setup. SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) is increasing in popularity, transforming CRM systems. So, is the hype behind cloud worth it? Here are a few of the key potential benefits: 

  • Cuts costs – Both operational and capital expenses can be reduced by decreasing the investment in an expensive hardware setup as well as simplifying WAN network management. Especially to smaller and mid-sized companies, this can provide a significantly better ROI in the long run.
  • Increase flexibility – Agility and scalability are common key components of modern competitive business. By switching to cloud-based software, companies can more efficiently implement changes and new features within the network, often carried out by a SaaS provider. 
  • Simplify your setup – With cloud-based management, IT departments can be streamlined by offering a single, centralised management dashboard for performance-tracking, security management and management of WAN to reduce complexity in operations.

Extending your connectivity reach with software-defined networks

SD-WAN specifically uses software to automatically manage all the different locations within the WAN network, resulting in optimisation of the performance and efficiency of the networks while matching the requirements of modern bandwidth demands. Traditional WAN usually offers connectivity via more expensive and constrained MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching). The cost savings that also stems from switching out MPLS with broadband is one of the reasons companies look towards SD-WAN.

What other changes can switching to a cloud-based WAN introduce for your business? Many of the same general benefits of cloud computing can apply to SD-WAN. Management and administration tasks are simplified plus agility and scalability are improved by offering simpler and faster setup as well as making new services and changes more rapidly available. 

What is the next step?

Multiple industries have introduced the software-defined solution to help transform their network connectivity strategy across greater distances – from finance to retail and education among others. If you are considering SaaS or PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) solutions, look for a provider with a reliable quality of service and tailored features that suit your business’ needs and supports the full realisation of your cloud ambitions.  

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