Digital transformation is no longer an optional undertaking – disruptive technology is here to stay, and organisations that don’t jump onboard and leverage innovation to transform their businesses face being left behind.

This is all about to change, with the recent emergence of software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) which allows organisations to manage and optimise the network in new, more efficient ways, allowing digital transformation to be easier and more successful.

SD-WAN technology uses simpler hardware than the more traditional Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) Wide Area Networks (WAN) which simplifies connectivity between multiple locations. It is ideally suited to financial service companies, healthcare providers and retail franchises who are the leading adopters of SD-WAN technology.

While there are many benefits of considering SD-WAN as part of your digital conversations, two stand out as key considerations:

  1. Cost savings

In comparison to the more traditional and rigid MPLS technology, SD-WAN is less expensive because it uses internet-based connections, for example NBN, ADSL, 4G etc. It can also be implemented using multiple telco connections, adding to the resiliency, savings and security the platform provides. If organisations are struggling with application performance and reliability, SD-WAN can be the answer in creating a cost-effective solution.

  1. Built in security

With security breaches on the rise, organisations are searching for scalable security systems that they can trust and help them meet regulatory demands. SD-WAN has a robust security architecture built in to the technology which can accommodate the needs of even the most security sensitive business.

The partnership between a leading financial services organisation and TAS is a great example of the benefits SD-WAN brings to a company’s digital conversation.

The organisation has five locations, each connected through a 1MbpsMPLS network with a single Telco. Each office also has 4G backup cards in case of a primary link failure. While this set up worked for several years, the growth of the organisation was being stalled with the legacy systems and processes delivered through the MPLS network.

TAS was approached by the organisation to assess future technology needs and provide a viable, scalable and cost-effective solution. During the assessment phase, NBN connectivity and 4G was identified as being available at all the organisations locations which made SD-WAN a perfect fit for them.

Following a process of due diligence SD-WAN was rolled out across the organisation. Network redundancy was improved using one Telco provider for NBN and another Telco for 4G. Business-critical applications were also prioritised for maximum performance.

Following implementation, the organisation has identified a 30 per cent cost saving with increased performance and management.

In Summary

Companies should consider the criticality of their applications and their current reliance on guaranteed network throughput. In some instances, MPLS connectivity is still required to ensure guaranteed contention ratios and throughput for critical applications.

In the above example, multiple cheaper internet-based connections can be implemented in conjunction with the MPLS link to improve overall network performance. If companies are struggling with application performance and reliability, SD-WAN can be the answer in creating a cost-effective solution.