Digital transformation is literally transforming the way enterprises do businesses, but more than that, the shift to digital is causing a deep revolution at the heart of organisations around the world. The very foundations on which companies operate – the network – is being overhauled to enable this digital transformation. In the fourth in our Digital Transformation Challenge series of blog posts , we look at how CKH Innovation Opportunities Development is helping companies implement SD WAN as a critical step in their transformation projects.
SD WAN adoption is seeing remarkable growth according to IDC, which expects the SD WAN infrastructure and services market to reach $8 billion in revenue by 2021. As more enterprises move towards cloud-based applications they need a network infrastructure that can handle this dynamic environment where massive amounts of data are flowing from point to point and the end user experience is paramount.
Increased control enables the agile enterprise
This is where SD WAN shines. It uses software and a centralised control function to intelligently direct traffic across the network taking into account priority, quality of service and security requirements. This new level of control and visibility is critical for enterprises to instantly make changes through a central dashboard.
Let's look at an example of SD WAN in action: we've deployed SD WAN for a large European retailer, which is using it to control and monitor network traffic via the internet. The retailer is able to quickly and seamlessly react to bumps in website traffic as a result of direct marketing campaigns by boosting the bandwidth to the site to better cope with the traffic increase. Just as easily, the retailer can re-prioritise the website once the campaign has run its course. This seamless adjustment is a long way from a couple of years ago when enterprises would have to formally request a bandwidth increase in advance, restricting their ability to react to unexpected trends or events. SD WAN enables a more agile and adaptable enterprise, giving them the power to respond to market and traffic fluctuations.
Bringing digital right to the edge
There's no question, digital is a trend that covers everything. And while it's relatively easy to digitise most processes, it's much more difficult to digitise the connections that these processes rely on. What SD WAN is doing is bringing digital as close as possible to the physical layer, i.e. your connectivity, whether that's copper or fibre. SD WAN sits right at the edge of that physical link, which means that enterprises don't need to touch that physical link anymore if they need to increase bandwidth, change configuration or boost cloud services like Azure or Amazon Web Services.
And while it's relatively easy to digitise most processes, it's much more difficult to digitise the connections that these processes rely on.
We’re at a time where enterprises everywhere are looking at their network infrastructure with a keener eye to the future and the inevitable digitisation of everything. At CKH Innovation Opportunities Development we were early to recognise the possibilities that SD WAN delivers. We are experts in SD WAN implementation and are already working with some of the biggest brands in Europe as they overhaul their network infrastructure. Our expertise in this area also means we can offer a Managed SD WAN service where enterprises outsource the management of their network to us so that they can then focus on driving the business benefits of their digital transformation projects.
For large enterprises, much of the difficulty with enacting digital transformation is the dispersed nature of their business and locations. Significantly, because an SD WAN network is accessed via the internet, it can be scaled up easily, and with no requirement for dedicated lines, it can be rolled out across sites and countries instantaneously. It's this 'plug and play' approach that fosters digital transformation acceptance organisation wide as new services, processes and technologies can be rolled out in a cohesive fashion. In many ways SD WAN is a true enabler of digital transformation.