Why SD-WAN is a great starting point for your Edge to Application Digital Platform transformation.
‘Every journey starts with a first step,’ is probably the most overused saying when planning any major transformation, personal or business.
For many IT leaders, the joke ‘What’s the best way to get to digital transformation? Well, if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here’” is probably a more realistic response to the opportunity and challenges of adopting new digital-native platforms.
In most of the meetings I have had with CIOs and IT Directors in the last six months, there is acknowledgement that the adoption of adaptable digital-native networks, data centre, cloud and security platforms is a priority. But, taking the first step from where they currently are presents a major shift, not just in technology, but in skills, operating models, organisation changes, and the recognition that unless they can maximise the value of this new investment, the business will once again become disillusioned with the promise versus the reality of yet another platform investment.
So where do you start? How do you get some immediate value from the shift to digital-native platforms without causing immediate disruption and potentially creating a false start that stops further progress?
SD-WAN is likely the simplest and most effective way to put a toe in the digital platform world.
If there was an award for the least loved digital asset, then I think most CIO’s would have the acceptance speech for their WAN written in ten minutes. Who really loves their static and difficult to optimise and change existing WAN service?
That’s possibly why IDC[i] forecasted 40% compound growth up to 2022, as companies asses which parts of their core infrastructure platforms need a bit of a digital boost, the WAN is a great place to start. And for those organisations shifting business workloads to the cloud, especially desktop, the reliability, performance, optimisation and capability of their connectivity between users, sites and cloud services is fundamental to their overall cloud strategy.
The immediate impact of an SD-WAN upgrade to your user’s digital experience can demonstrate the benefits of then moving to further SDX upgrades to the LAN, Data Centre and Cloud environments. If software defined is that good, then give us more.
It also enables the IT team to become familiar with some of the capabilities that software defined technologies have such as automation, service optimisation and trouble shooting advancements, that can then be transferred into the next SD project.
And for most organisations SD-WAN as a Service is the easiest and most effective way of jumping on the bus and getting moving. However, ensuring the provider is using the technology in a progressive way, has understood that the benefits of SD-WAN need to be externalised to customers, who need to be able to drive the features and functionality to benefit their users is key. What’s the point in buying into an adaptable digital network if all the value is kept by the provider?
So, if you can find the right partner then firing up your digital platform strategy with SD-WAN could be the first step in a journey your business will thank you for taking them on. Because you have to start somewhere….
Logicalis is proud to have partnered with ngena The Shared Network to provide progressive global SD-WAN services based on Cisco Viptela technology.
[i] IDC SD-WAN Infrastructure Forecast – https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=US44182618