By Jon Bove, Vice President of Americas Channels, Fortinet
Digital transformation is on the agendas of businesses everywhere, including your customers. But as they progress along their digitization journeys and the scope of change continues to expand, their digital ecosystem becomes increasingly complex.
This poses challenges that many business leaders may not have foreseen when first embarking on the road to modernization. For remote offices and retail locations, transformation complexities range from deploying, managing and securing new hardware and provisioning new Internet of Things devices to bandwidth management and optimization across their wide area network (WAN), especially for new web applications and latency-sensitive services.
Why Customers Are Adopting SD-WAN
Business needs have changed dramatically over the last five years. IT leaders are facing intense pressure as a result of the vast changes taking place under their feet – from the exploding adoption of software as a service (SaaS) and multicloud environments, to the need to create complex connectivity and interoperability across and between all WAN edge locations, and the necessity for in-depth security measures that can span, scale, and adapt to these dramatic and continuous changes.
Distributed organizations feel the heat even more intensely. For them, especially as their remote workforce expands, cloud-based applications are now considered business-critical. New top-level strategic initiatives increasingly call for more collaboration, transparency, visibility and customer engagement through digital networks.
However, even as IT leaders face pressure from above to support these business goals, their plates are already full as they work to implement and secure the massive shift of what networking even looks like in today’s marketplace given the impact of digital transformation. With all of this play, the job of effective WAN management is something that’s increasingly out of reach.
Their problem: the tools your customers have previously relied upon for the operation and management of their WAN connections are no longer sufficient. As they grow and modernize, they’re finding that their traditional WAN infrastructures are failing in several different ways:
- Latency: Branch offices that rely upon SaaS applications can experience latency under the constraints of traditional WAN connections. This can cause the performance of real-time transactions like voice over IP (VoIP) and video to suffer, especially as interconnectivity between different branch offices becomes increasingly essential.
- Performance: For organizations that rely on e-commerce or otherwise provide services in real time, customers demand a seamless experience for their digital transactions. Traditional WAN cannot always keep up as traffic is backhauled back to the central hub for processing and redirection, causing significant bottlenecks as traffic volumes continue to increase.
- Connectivity: Unified communications and rich media services, both of which are essential to branch locations, are hindered by connectivity issues that cap performance. As a result, branch locations lose out – especially as they increasingly rely heavily on unified communications as a service (UCaaS). As a result, collaboration suffers, productivity levels can dip and overall efficiency goals are harder to meet.
- Reliability: As complexity grows, network connectivity can suffer under traditional WAN connections that lack path awareness intelligence.
- Cost: Costs are rising as traditional broadband options become limited.
- Resource management: Configuration is virtually unmanageable as the number of dashboard interfaces increases with network growth and the proliferation of tools and devices from multiple vendors. As a result, IT management costs rise while visibility is diminished.
- Complexity: Distributed networks are inherently more complex, which reduces visibility into which data is being used and by whom. This lack of visibility into data use hinders breach detection and prevention tactics, making your customers’ networks more susceptible to attacks.
Risks of Adopting SD-WAN Without Security in Mind
With these challenges becoming commonplace across your customers’ networks, many are …