Choosing an alternative WAN technology or architecture is not all about the monthly cost savings, although it is still an important benefit that will help balance any cost overhead related to resource and time to deploy a new infrastructure. The predominant value proposition today is about enabling a business to be truly digital by
delivering more decentralised applications to a more distributed workforce through cloud-enabled environments. This value proposition creates an overwhelming complexity for IT and requires a more advanced view of the capabilities of new WAN technologies to identify the full cost savings and benefits that organisations need to be successful in their digital transformation journey.
58% of IT professionals in a recent survey* said that application performance and support were their biggest challenge with the growth in remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic and these are two key areas where new WAN technologies can help.
Application visibility has always been an important part in the delivery of an acceptable user experience and without the use of Quality of Service (QoS), the priority and predictability of Voice and Video over IP would never have been possible. But as we see the network dependence of modern-day cloud applications, organisations are demanding control and application visibility back from telcos to ensure a cohesive level of performance and experience.
Performance issues will cost a business indirectly by reducing user productivity, whilst potentially increasing workloads of IT teams in their attempts to troubleshoot. But of course, any numbers used to identify the cost of performance would be theoretical. The reality is that organisations have no idea how the performance of applications and networks affect the operational costs of their business. Without suitable control and visibility, the problem will be exacerbated.
A “back of the envelope” calculation (like the one below) can help highlight the potential cost of loss in productivity for users, but complete visibility of application performance will help improve productivity for both for end-users and IT staff supporting them. Time spared for IT to concentrate on other digital transformation projects, for example.
Calculating Loss in Productivity
It is important to look for continuous improvement in how we manage, support, and deliver services to our users. With MPLS businesses need to deploy a number of different standalone appliances to manage WAN optimisation and security. New WAN technologies centralise these operations and enable companies to scale and manage networks as they grow. In addition, they provide better visibility of applications and remote work environments which, in turn, makes it much easier to support and troubleshoot.
From an operations perspective, zero-touch provisioning (building standard policies and rolling them out automatically) is a godsend and resource time-saver for any changing business, helping to get new offices up to speed quicker (or even shutting them down as the future moves towards more remote working).
The challenge of managing security in a multi-vendor estate with point products, is the continuous need to manage and patch on a frequent basis. Where SASE comes into its own is with its service-driven approach to infrastructure, eliminating the constant need for patching, and providing more time to spend on improving security across the business.
58% of IT professionals say that application performance & support was the biggest challenge with COVID-19 remote working.*
*The Future of SD-WAN and SASE (accelerate-technologies.com/sd-wan-sase-report/)