What is Digital Transformation, and How Can SD-WAN Help?

Digital transformation is one of the most discussed trends affecting today's enterprises, but what does this nebulous term actually mean? The "digital" in the name isn't just an empty signifier, as it refers in part to how organizations are modernizing their internal and external communications. For example, many are replacing analog private branch exchanges (PBXs) with digital unified communications (UC) solutions in the cloud, which are much more versatile, scalable and cost-effective.

At the same time, these UC platforms have particular performance requirements – for apps like VoIP and video – that traditional WANs cannot meet:

  • Since legacy WANs are predominantly MPLS-based, they frequently have low bandwidth per site, and can take weeks or months to provision new locations.
  • Visibility is limited. It's easy to miss many different issues across the network until it's too late, including bottlenecks from limited MPLS capacity and uncertainty about the security of cloud-bound traffic.
  • They're not optimized for cloud, even though cloud services including UC might have already accounted for half of WAN traffic by 2017. Old-fashioned WANs are insular, difficult to scale and inordinately expensive because of the high price per megabit for MPLS.

Enter failsafe software-defined WANs (SD-WANs). SD-WAN solutions simplify the management of networks in a similar way to how graphical user interfaces streamline the experience of using a computer: by disguising the underlying complexity with point-and-click simplicity. Accordingly, they deliver benefits for cost control, application performance, IT agility and network security during digital transformation projects. Failsafe SD-WAN solutions deliver all these SD-WAN benefits without sacrificing the high WAN availability and predictable application performance (a.k.a. QoE, or Quality of Experience) that users and WAN Managers are accustomed to from their MPLS WANs, even as Internet links are leveraged to augment or replace those expensive MPLS connections.

How SD-WAN platforms fuel digital transformation

SD-WAN is a key infrastructure piece that fits perfectly into the digital transformation puzzle, alongside cloud computing, UC, software-defined networking, network functions virtualization and similar technologies. Instead of a WAN locked in to a particular carrier and to long provisioning times and cumbersome manual management processes, enterprise have more agile, cost-effective infrastructure that enables leverage of the cloud for agile, cost-effective computing services.

Zero-touch provisioning embodies the transformative capabilities of SD-WAN. Network policies, device configurations, update instructions and much more can be pre-configured and pushed to literally thousands of sites, all from a single pane of glass. It's a far cry from the error-prone days of needing to wait around for an administrator to manually complete the same task.
This level of agility means sites and their teams are easier than ever to support. Digital transformation projects are more likely to pay dividends if they include failsafe SD-WANs that ensure that the QoE of the applications passing through it. Talari Networks offers a failsafe SD-WAN engine for fueling worthwhile digital transformation. Learn more by requesting a product demo today and viewing the ebook linked below.

Categories: Business Agility, Business Continuity

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