Modernising your network post-pandemic

cloud, network, connectivity

According to a survey of executives by McKinsey Global at the end of 2020, organisations have accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. Further, the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by an alarming seven years.

The pace of digital transformation in the last 18 months thanks to the pandemic, has taken a quantum leap, and the speed of change has delivered the necessity for increased networking capabilities, security and bandwidth to support business growth.

Many of us are still working remotely, and at best, where the world is tilting back on a more familiar axis, it looks increasingly as though a hybrid model of working will remain for some time to come.

All of these shifts in our working patterns have created for CTOs, and those responsible for digital transformation, the need to find solutions that are a better fit for what comes next. For most that means a full modernisation of infrastructure to support the existing and future needs of the business.

Those organisations with multi-site locations must be equipped to meet the increasing bandwidth demand of cloud applications, video streaming, teleconferencing and more. The transition to mass remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly exacerbated bandwidth issues and old WANs are unable to scale effectively for today’s workloads.

Instead, integrating software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN) with support from an MSP into an organisation’s existing network allows each site to direct traffic along the most efficient network path and to select the best available broadband option providing a reliable and cost-effective way to meet demands now, and scale for the future.

What is SD-WAN?
Software-defined wide-area networking allows organisations to extend the reach of internal networks to remote offices or home/remote workers with ease. An SD-WAN simplifies the management and operation of a network by creating a virtual WAN architecture that allows organisations to securely connect users to applications. Centralising control of the network means that traffic across it is intelligently managed with software which increases application performance and creates a much better user experience in terms of productivity, agility and also in reducing costs.

In an unrivalled 18-month period of pandemic-uncertainty where many are working remotely and from home, SD-WAN has been catapulted into the spotlight as a way to optimise the workplace – and future proof it.

Our adoption of cloud-based technologies is growing in line with the need for digitisation and traditional WANs, based on that conventional routers are not designed for the cloud – SD-WAN that is therefore required. It is designed to support apps in on-premise, public or private clouds and software-as-a-service applications with high levels of performance and security. It reduces complexity and optimises branch traffic routing – selecting the optimum path to route traffic to the internet without backhauling all traffic through the network hub.

Ten reasons to deploy SD-WAN

How do you know if SD-WAN is right for your organisation? We provide ten reasons why you might need an SD-WAN.

1. Your organisation is operating in the cloud, or across a hybrid set up and you’re using SaaS applications.
2. Your organisation operates across multiple geographies
3. You have multiple branches/stores/offices
4. You want to eliminate network downtime and increase bandwidth
5. You want to deploy new apps and services quickly in line with rapid business growth
6. You have more than 100 employees – most of whom may be operating remotely at present
7. You want to be able to route traffic to the branches more simply
8. You would prefer an MSP to manage your network security as it grows in complexity
9. You want a cost-efficient model – OpEx instead of CapEx
10. You want to optimise a supply chain – perform inventory checks, automate orders and track them in real-time

SD-WAN will support digital transformation by following cloud-first principles. It delivers flexibility, speed, simplicity and a cost model that organisations are embracing.

Future-proofed technology
CTOs are faced with finding new ways to overcome increasingly complex challenges, but it’s safe to say that technology investments made now will determine success for years to come – so the technology roadmap and where to invest time and money is pivotal to that success. Investing in the right technology will be the difference in winning or losing in the unpredictable business environment post-pandemic.

To support continued digital transformation, remain agile and improve both employee and customer experience simplifying, securing and improving the network across branches and locations lays the foundations for what comes next. SD-WAN can consolidate point solutions, simplify network management, provide visibility into data apps and support new bandwidth-hungry digital strategies.

Where organisations are challenged to implement or support the technology, a fully managed solution delivers the skills and hands-on task to keep the network running and protected around the clock, leaving in-house employees to innovate and deliver growth.

For more information about SD-WAN contact the team:

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