With the nature of business becoming more distributed and spreading across geographies, building a well-connected network could be the difference between success and failure. Before digital transformation was a thing, large companies relied on hardware based Wide Area Networking to bridge branch offices to the head office for more efficient collaboration. This was too expensive for companies below a certain operation threshold. This meant that branch offices for relatively smaller companies or the SMBs were fragmented and siloed in their operations. With the switch to digital transformation and the switch to software based everything, building a well-connected company over long distances became more accessible and solved more problems that more traditional networks were susceptible to.
One of the biggest concerns most companies had when having to build a Wide Area Network was the cost – the cost of hardware, software licenses, and the cost of technical staff and support for the long term. Only if the cost could be recovered in a certain time frame did it make business sense to invest in this. With a software-based solution, like the SD-WAN or even virtualised networks, this becomes far more accessible and scalable as per needs without putting any stress on operational expenses.
Traditional connected systems were susceptible to a plethora of security risks such as Denial of Service, Worms, Data breaches. Network compromise and even a latency of time-sensitive applications. Once these issues were detected, the solutions needed time and effort, and a loss in operational times due to downtimes. With newer software solutions, these issues, while they do exist, are easily mapped, and managed. Any recovery, if needed, is also quick.
Legacy systems typically needed technical and software engineers to manage these networks on an active basis without any down time. These technical staff were essential and formed a major chunk of the cost to install these solutions for any company. With the switch to a software-based solution, the need for an entire army of staff to manage the mandate is no longer necessary. The entire operation of managing a network can be done through a few dashboards and support is managed by the vendor that delivered the solution.
Older systems, while connected, still used a system that could fail at the drop of a hat, that would require the army of technicians to work endlessly to rectify. With a software-based solution, this reliability goes up exponentially. It also builds comfort that the company can reliably focus on their core function and increase their net worth. For any company to realise its potential, it needs reliable and constant access to data and resources, which is a direct function of the network it’s being accessed from.
Network connections moving from dated slow connected lines to now wireless super-fast connections that allow for anyone to be productive from anywhere. Legacy networking solutions allowed for only wired connections, which limited connectivity for remote offices and therefore limit mobility. This has changed to a scenario where a choice of connectivity exists, and they are all fast and reliable. This also includes the ability to manage and monitor traffic from virtually any location.
To sum up, digital transformation is incomplete without the switch to a digitally managed, software-defined, wide area network that allows for a company to expand without concern of access, security breaches, reliability issues, or fracturing of operations.