SD-WAN is an exciting new technology, but is it a luxury or necessity for your company? It’s difficult to gauge because in many ways, SD-WAN is preventative. It prevents network disasters and challenges. It perfectly fits the old adage: “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone!” or “You don’t know what you have until you need it!” So to decide if you need SD-WAN , you should consider if you can live without it. Can your company live with the disasters and challenges that SD-WAN prevents?
Can you live with . . .
- Poor network performance that interrupts communications and cloud applications?
- The possibility of internet outages?
- Using too much of your IT budget?
- Long setups for new offices?
#1. Poor network performance
When your WAN is stressed, packets start to drop and it affects your company’s call and video quality. This stress can also impede the performance of your cloud-based applications like your Hosted VoIP, SalesForce, etc.
Perhaps the best question to ask your employees is, “Does our company’s network make it harder for you to do your job?” Can employees communicate well with their co-workers at different locations? Are their critical cloud-based programs slow or glitchy? Do your employees experience jitter frequently when they’re on the phone? Do they suffer packet loss when they’re video conferencing with a co-worker?
If your employees are experiencing these challenges, then you should consider an SD-WAN solution. It’ll improve the performance of cloud-based applications and reduce jitter and packet loss in voice and video traffic.
#2. Internet outages
Internet outages are a less likely challenge than poor network performance problems, but when outages happen . . . they’re debilitating. I’ve personally experienced an internet outage at work, and I’ve never felt more helpless. Whether your job is customer support, creative, accounting, etc., there’s only so much you can accomplish without the internet.
If your company is particularly vulnerable to internet outages—you’ve had them in the past—then you should switch to SD-WAN. Or if you’re in a business that’s particularly internet reliant, you need SD-WAN. Because it can save you when an internet outage occurs. SD-WAN in an active mode requires a second inexpensive WAN connection, and this second WAN connection can keep your business up and running during an outage.
#3. Wasted IT resources
Use your IT budget wisely. There are so many helpful applications and products to improve your department and company, so avoid solutions that aren’t particularly helpful or cost-effective. This is an important reminder because many of the alternatives to SD-WAN are not cost-effective or helpful.
If a priority for your IT department is expanding your network capacity, don’t use precious IT funds on expensive solutions. For years, businesses have been told to just buy more bandwidth, buy expensive private circuits, etc. But you can expand your company’s network capacity without paying the price of a premium MPLS connection. By switching to SD-WAN, you’ll increase your network capacity at a fraction of the price you’d pay with traditional hardware.
#4. Slow setups
Without SD-WAN, it takes far too long to get a new office up and running. (Especially if you opt for one of those more expensive hardware network solutions mentioned above). With SD-WAN your company can easily manage the edge-to-edge overlay network. It’s a seamless process to scale to meet your changing network needs. For example, if you’re setting up a new office, all you need is to order a local broadband and plug in an SD-WAN edge. That’s it!
Switching over to SD-WAN is also easy. While a lot of network solutions can take months, SD-WAN enables you to set up a site in hours! You just simply overlay SD-WAN onto your existing applications. So if your company is experiencing fluctuation and needs to scale quickly and easily, you should invest in SD-WAN. It will make adding new offices to your company’s network painless.
Does my company need SD-WAN?
To answer this question, evaluate how helpful SD-WAN can be for your company. You should look into SD-WAN:
- If you’re a largely distributed company experiencing network problems.
- If you’re particularly vulnerable to internet outages.
- If you’re in the market to affordably expand your company’s network.
- And if your company needs to scale quickly and easily.
If you’ve decided that “yes,” your company needs it, start looking at SD-WAN vendors and preparing a pitch for your boss. Check out Jive’s resources to help you with the next steps: like our blogpost on how to explain SD-WAN to executives and Jive’s SD-WAN presentation. These are great resources for educating the higher-ups on what SD-WAN is and how it will benefit your company.