Modern, cloud-driven technologies are profoundly changing the way we work and interact.
With the focus on lowering costs and driving operational efficiency, it is vital that organisations pay attention to the network, the foundation for digital transformation. Whether the focus is on adopting cloud services or process automation, a business-aligned network is critical for creating new opportunities.
As traditional network environments age, they become increasingly challenging to manage and maintain. They have many points of failure and the manual workload involved can take key staff away from higher value projects. Modern, software-defined networks lighten the load, using automation to take care of common, repetitive tasks, troubleshooting and change management. Rules can be easily written so that the software-defined environment prioritises certain apps, while self-healing services detect and fix problems with minimal human intervention. Software-defined networks require less training to effectively manage, and save considerable skilled IT time.
The software-defined networks allow identity and access management rules to be set based on an individual’s role, device, location, etc. Access is based on business policy rules, and there is no need for the cumbersome and complex security configurations commonly associated with traditional network environments. Every approved user has secure access to the tools and applications they need, and none to those they don’t. Damage from both malicious individuals as well as human error are dramatically reduced, and users enjoy secure access to local and cloud-based resources.
Every business depends on secure, effective communication, no matter how many locations or branch offices are involved. With the advent of cloud and mobile services, the applications which support our organisations have changed dramatically, along with the pressures placed on both our underlying networks and network budgets.
To keep pace with the changing landscape, software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technologies have emerged, offering better-suited and more affordable solutions.
The private WAN connections that worked well previously can end up becoming costly when faced with the current explosion of data, making it expensive to scale the use of business collaboration tools or share critical customer data between cloud services, data centres, and branch offices. Fortunately, expensive carrier links are no longer the only option. SD-WAN provides tailored connectivity solutions by aggregating private links, Internet links, or a combination of both, to better manage the increasing data transfers and real-time apps, while at all times securing your data.
One of the biggest advantages of SD-WAN is the ease of installation and support. Equipment is configured centrally based on rules set by the company – so all a branch office must do is plug in the device, where is it recognised by the network and rules are applied automatically. There is no need for skilled IT staff in each office, or for key staff to spend time travelling to each location. Secure, fast communications are ready to go quickly – at a far lower cost and complexity than traditional WAN services.