3 Benefits from SD-WAN for a Smooth Transition to SaaS

 

As a trend in business IT, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) might seem like old news. Major SaaS applications, from Salesforce to Microsoft Office 365, have been productivity staples for many years, and cloud services in general are continuing their long-term trajectory of consuming bigger portions of IT budgets each year. Gartner estimated annual cloud-related spend will reach $216 billion by the end of the decade, representing a roughly $1 trillion shift away from enterprise data centers between 2016 and 2020.

However, there are still a lot of sticking points with SaaS, preventing many organizations from maximizing its value. Inadequate SaaS security is perhaps the most notable one, although traditional WAN infrastructure also gets in the way. In reality, these two issues are often intertwined: The need to mitigate risks to cloud-bound traffic while still relying on an MPLS WAN usually results in backhauling, which degrades app performance. Rushing into SaaS solutions without working out WAN details first is a recipe for struggle.

Ensuring a SaaS implementation meets all your security and performance requirements before it goes live takes careful planning, but it’s often more difficult than it has to be. A software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) platform can simplify the process by delivering key benefits such as:

1. Securing SaaS traffic

SaaS security best practices, as summarized by Intel, emphasize visibility into individual applications across the WAN, as well as who has access to them and how they are secured. These principles aren’t always put into practice. A 2018 iboss/Vanson Bourne survey of IT decision-makers found 64 percent of them felt their SaaS adoption was outpacing their abilities to secure everything.

While SD-WAN is not a security solution per se, it can be integrated with firewall and cloud services from vendors such as Palo Alto Network and Zscaler. Between them, these combinations allow for secure direct-to-cloud connections and simplification of branch security infrastructure. SaaS traffic can be optimized for both safety and performance.

2. Quickly evolving the WAN

Legacy WANs are expensive and complicated to modify. Deployment windows for new locations are lengthy, meaning that branches can go weeks or months without the support necessary for acceptable application performance, security and Quality of Service. This slow to transition nature of conventional WANs contributes to the gap we highlighted earlier between the pace of SaaS upgrades and the rollout of corresponding security measures.

A failsafe SD-WAN permits fast and easy installation through zero-touch provisioning. As more workers go remote and mobile thanks to the anytime/anywhere access possible through SaaS, this speed and flexibility of deployment allows you to keep pace with changing usage habits and make sure cloud applications are approved and secured.

3 Freeing up money for cybersecurity

Pacing isn’t the only issue in securing SaaS. There’s also the common problem of budgetary constraints. A survey by law firm Fox Rothschild revealed 53 percent of executives felt their companies lacked sufficient cybersecurity budgets to prevent data breaches. That’s bad news as more dollars are poured into potentially high-risk SaaS investments.

SD-WAN solutions can help indirectly by lowering the overall cost of the network. Since SD-WANs weave in commodity internet and other forms of transport in addition to MPLS, they reduce reliance on expensive MPLS plans. Plus, the additions of security services, encryption and millisecond-measurement of quality metrics mean there aren’t any tradeoffs in safety or performance by moving away from MPLS.

A failsafe Talari Networks SD-WAN is your ticket to superior SaaS implementations. Sign up for a demo today or check out the e-book linked below.

Categories: Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN)

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