If there’s one trend that’s set to continue beyond the year the pandemic shook the world, it’s the acceleration of the digital enterprise. The meaning of ‘business as usual’ has fundamentally changed: more services are being offered and delivered online, remotely, and employees are spending more time working out of office. As a result, enterprise networks are coming under increasing pressure to support growing numbers of users accessing services from remote locations. Effective, secure, and scalable networks have become business essentials and a crucial foundation for enterprises’ digital expansion and modernization.
Traditional Networks Become Congested Under Pressure
The pandemic has tipped the scale in favour of the digital workplace, but traditional networks often fail to rise to the occasion to match renewed demands. Enterprise networks often aren’t used to having large amounts of traffic coming in through virtual private networks; in periods of increased traffic, they creak under pressure, becoming congested and slow. Traditional networks are brittle; you can’t adjust bandwidth to quickly respond to dynamic priorities or ensure the peak performance of essential applications.
Like a rusty old pipeline, an on-site, physical network might develop cracks or security breaches that leave your enterprise’s data vulnerable to cyber-attacks. A bogged down network and workflow can lead to increased costs and opportunity loss. This is where an SD-WAN solution can be particularly useful, enabling improved management of data flow and ensuring continuity of services and secure access for remote teams.
Effectively Bringing The Enterprise To The World
SD-WAN makes it possible for organisations to make more efficient use of their existing network. The technology can weave digital workplace policies into the network setting, such as the ability to ensure priority for critical applications and allocating bandwidth to different network traffic workflows. SD-WAN also offers integrated security, greater business agility, increased application performance with end-to-end user transparency, robust connectivity, and – it costs less to maintain and operate.
SD-WAN offers the following business network benefits:
- Classification and prioritisation of applications to ensure consistent performance of essential applications
- Segmenting traffic so personal traffic doesn’t affect business traffic
- The ability to adjust bandwidth dynamically to respond to network priorities while maintaining end-to-end visibility
- Integration with cloud-access broker services including multicloud connectivity, cloud-based firewalls and cloud security services such as Zscaler
- Ability to support multiple transport network and access options
- Simplified operational and configuration management
- Reduced cost of network operations and the ability to transition to a commodity service
Intrinsically Secure Services
The class action filed against Zoom this year demonstrated that privacy, information security and timely tech support remain key concerns for businesses managing a digital workforce. Data or security breaches can create long-lasting reputational damage with far-reaching repercussions.
SD-WAN’s built-in security, however, enables organisations to stay one step ahead of these challenges, combining networking and security as a cloud-based service. SD-WAN networks are intrinsically secure with a gateway that seamlessly integrates your sites into cloud services, so your enterprise can enjoy the enhanced security of a cloud-based firewall.
Automate Network Management
SD-WAN makes network automation a reality: it enables integration with Edge Network Intelligence – a vendor-agnostic, AI-op solution that applies machine learning and data analytics to IT operations. Integrated AI collects information from a variety of network nodes to understand what a normal operating environment looks like, it then looks for deviations so it can identify problems. This enables the automation of some aspects of network security maintenance and management.
It also helps organisations better understand what’s going on in the network, respond to problems and provide better solutions; IT operation teams can resolve issues as they occur to maintain optimal network flow and performance.
What’s in your pipeline?
With in-built security and network automation options, SD-WAN technology can remove the need for dedicated routing appliances and a firewall, reducing company maintenance costs. It greatly reduces bandwidth concerns or the risk of delayed workflow due to overloaded pipelines and enhances business agility – any network changes can be made quickly. From your data centre to your company headquarters and employees’ home offices around the world – a secure, cost-efficient and agile SD-WAN network will lay a strong foundation to power your organisations’ future.
If you would like a consultation to find out how you can improve security and network operations, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.