Networks—the enterprise nervous system connecting every vital component—enable business transformation by supporting a wide range of needs from fundamental communication systems to cloud-based security. Like the human body, a business cannot move properly or grow when its nervous system is compromised. Too many firms have networks that are too brittle, inefficient, and inflexible to support their transformation initiatives, especially when it comes to security. To succeed on the transformation journey, IT and business leaders have started to reassess their networking strategy, technology, and operations to evolve the static, manually driven network into next-generation networking that supports and secures the emerging digital business.
In December 2021, Windstream Enterprise commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate driving factors and results for organizations that are making the transition from legacy networking approaches to SD-WAN. Forrester conducted an online survey with 302 respondents with IT and line-of-business leaders in different industries from the United States to explore this topic. We found that firms are seeking stronger networking solutions through software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) that offer enhanced security, reliability, and performance (among other benefits). These capabilities are particularly important as organizations rapidly evolve and offer greater remote/hybrid working experiences. They also provide greater peace of mind for IT and business leaders who see their network as a critical component to their firm’s success. These leaders are pursuing greater security and dependability to help them better manage growing demands.
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Traditional networking models are holding firms back.
Digital transformation requires a strong network. Past WAN architectures, such as hub-and-spoke and multiprotocol label switching, can no longer fully meet business needs, and changing workplace dynamics driven by the pandemic are creating new requirements that must be addressed. For example, the rapid acceleration of remote work is compounding the need for greater network flexibility, reliability, and security.
SD-WAN grows out of the old WAN weeds.
Firms are turning to SD-WAN to address core concerns with WAN infrastructure and meet evolving business demands. Although the move toward SD-WAN isn’t new, it’s becoming increasingly critical to make the move. Firms must carefully consider this investment before executing a SD-WAN strategy. Primary concerns for most organizations on this journey include implementing proper network security controls and ensuring the right resources are in place to manage the new network infrastructure.
With proper care, SD-WAN helps firms address important business needs.
Business and technology leaders are eager to execute their implementation strategies as they focus on SD-WAN’s benefits and profit potential for the organization. Specifically, they are excited about how the technology can help them tackle concerns about network security, performance, and reliability, yielding a more confident path toward the not-too-distant future.
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