Digital transformation is becoming an increasingly popular course of action for enterprises trying to keep pace with emerging market trends, fluctuating customer demands, and increased competition. But traditional network architectures weren’t built to handle the types of workloads, and complexities, that arise as a result. Even worse, in an attempt to take on the work these architectures – post-digital transformation – can actually compromise business-critical services and network performance.
Ease the headache with SD-WAN
To avoid these complications, many network operations teams are turning to software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) as a way to reduce overhead, and support the new applications and services that result from digital transformation. This innovative technology not only simplifies the everyday management and operation of a WAN, but also delivers a number of real-world business benefits.
Five ways SD-WAN can boost the bottom line
Here are five different ways the experts at Fortinet have identified that SD-WAN can boost your bottom line and save IT headaches.
1. SD-WAN improves performance
Not all network traffic is created equally. SD-WAN can be configured to prioritize business-critical traffic and real-time services and steer it over the most efficient route. By facilitating critical applications through these connections, IT teams can help reduce packet loss and latency issues – improving employee productivity and boosting morale.
2. SD-WAN boosts security
Digital transformation is a double-edged sword. While it can improve customer satisfaction and extend market reach, it can also expose an organization to significant security risks. The good news is SD-WAN solutions offer built-in security features such as NGFW, IPS, encryption, AV, and sandboxing capabilities that help prevent data loss, downtime, regulatory violations, and legal liabilities.
3. SD-WAN lowers complexity
Digital transformation initiatives can add layers of complexity to a network. The result is not only a risk of poor network performance, but over-taxed IT teams and the need for locating onsite personnel at remote sites to manage the local IT infrastructure. Fortunately, SD-WAN can ease IT’s burden by simplifying WAN infrastructure – using broadband to offload non-critical business apps, automating monitoring tasks, and managing traffic through a centralized controller.
4. SD-WAN enables cloud usage
Organizations are increasingly adopting cloud services. SD-WAN enables direct cloud access at the remote branch, eliminating backhauling traffic and allowing users to directly access cloud applications regardless of location without burdening the core network with additional traffic to manage and secure. Additionally, SD-WAN improves cloud application performance by prioritizing business critical applications and enabling branches to directly communicate via internet.
5. SD-WAN reduces costs
As enterprises deploy an ever-increasing array of cloud-based applications, the amount of data traveling over a WAN increases exponentially, which increases operating costs. Fortunately, SD-WAN can reduce this price tag by leveraging low cost local internet access, providing direct cloud access, and reducing the amount of traffic over the backbone WAN. According to an IDC survey, nearly a quarter of respondents expect SD-WAN cost savings of upwards of 39 percent.
5 Reasons Network Pros Implement SD-WAN
How to choose an SD-WAN provider
In today’s crowded SD-WAN market, it can be challenging to know exactly what to look for in a solution. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your solution provides a balance of quality, security, and value:
- Deployment made easy. Accelerate deployment with a solution that offers single-pane-of-glass deployment, management, and monitoring for all components of SD-WAN, including networking, traffic management, and both security components and policies.
- Peak performance. Make business-critical applications a priority with the help of application steering. The right application-aware SD-WAN solution can support a broad range of applications, improving cloud application performance and enabling branches to directly communicate to the internet.
- Great reliability. By gathering granular WAN path information, an SD-WAN solution can automatically fail over to the best available WAN link.
- Comprehensive policy management. An SD-WAN solution with a management console can ensure IT teams manage and maintain universal policies on everything from security to application filtering across thousands of devices and applications.
- Flexible connection options. SD-WAN allows traffic to be routed efficiently over multiple channels, including not only existing MPLS circuits but also the public Internet via LTE and broadband.
- Next-generation security. With every SD-WAN-enabled branch with local internet access, an organization expands its attack surface. That’s all the more reason to select a solution that broadens protection beyond the data center and integrates the security architecture for centralized visibility and control.
- Friendly user interface. By managing SD-WAN from a simple user interface, such as a single-pane-of-glass management and orchestration console, IT teams can drastically reduce management costs, simplify configuration, and accelerate deployment cycles.
Talk with WEI about Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN solution
As the SD-WAN market continues to grow, it’s more important than ever that organizations remain aware of the importance of security. Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN solution is the first to fully integrate security and networking – including routing, SD-WAN, a full security suite, WAN optimization, and integrated management – into a single SD-WAN solution designed to meet the actual demands of the growing WAN Edge market. Contact WEI today to learn more about Fortinet’s solution, and how your enterprise can benefit.
NEXT STEPS: It's always a great time to review your enterprise security strategy. Check out our helpful guide to be sure your enterprise is equipped with the right security solutions as we brace for what’s in store this year from a cybersecurity and network security perspective. Click below to download a copy of our eBook, an IT Leader’s Guide to Enterprise Security in a Digital World.