It’s fair to say that the modern world is obsessed with speed. We’re living in an age of instant gratification, where if you have an internet connection and a smartphone, you also have unlimited access to entertainment and information.

In an era where we want everything right now, waiting for anything can feel like a death sentence, particularly when you’re striving to stay ahead of your competitors in the business space. The good news is that innovations in the technology world have helped to make companies faster than ever, with new collaborative tools, AI, and automation. Yet, this speed seems to have left the underlying network part of an organisation in the dark ages.

Now that machine learning has transformed communication and virtualisation has transformed the data centre, it’s time to change the network too. Software-defined networking allows network administrators to move beyond the threat of lacklustre performance, with cloud-based solutions like SD-WAN.

The Rise of SD-WAN in 2017

Throughout 2017, the technology world saw a significant amount of disruption, all the way from collaborative platforms, to messaging solutions. SD-WAN is just one of the many technologies that stole the show for many organisations, as adoption of the virtualised network continued to increase. During 2017, SD-WAN global revenues moved beyond $300 million, while the number of SD-WAN launched sites surpassed 90,000, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Now, the popularity of SD-WAN is expected to continue skyrocketing into the future, particularly as vendor consolidation in the UC space generates new possibilities for the business cloud. While it’s safe to say that all kinds of networking could potentially benefit from SDN, the area that’s most open for adoption is the WAN or Wide Area Network. So, what are the benefits of SD-WAN that you can expect as we head into 2018?

1.     Better Business Agility

These days, you need to be fast if you want to keep up with what’s happening in the UC marketplace. The cloud has become a beacon of versatility and scalability for many companies who want to be able to evolve according to the needs of their customers, and the trends of the marketplace. The SD-WAN solution allows organisations to deploy WAN services quickly and effectively, allowing companies to evolve without the need for additional IT personnel.

2.     Automatic Provisioning

Today, more companies than ever before are beginning to uncover the power of automation. In a world where speed is key, deploying your own WAN systems is a thing of the past. The development of SD-WAN solutions means that businesses can send their SD-WAN devices un-configured into various branches, and the device can simply download its keys and policy automatically. Provisioning is simply easier with the help of SD-WAN.

3.     Smart Pathway Control

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of SD-WAN is the fact that it can offer intelligent pathway control that can steer traffic based on the application you want to use. You can set the necessary requirements for your business at the control or admin level, and then distribute it to all your SD-WAN devices. Your policies can be built according to a range of different factors, including application profiles, IP addresses, port numbers, and more.

4.     Improved Security

Security is something that every company is thinking about in 2018, and it’s a concern that’s not likely to go away anytime soon. In contrast6 to traditional solutions for WAN, which handled security requirements through various appliances at each office branch, SD-WAN can include all the functions you need in the box, and at a lower cost, to keep your business safe. Additionally, you can integrate your SD-WAN solution with a cloud-filtering service, in order to access malware defences for everything from your computers, to your remote IOT devices.

Migrating to SD-WAN

It’s easy to see that cloud tech has become a powerful resource for many companies, thanks to its ability to offer flexibility, fast deployment, and various customisation options at low costs. SD-WAN is just another advantage in the cloud portfolio, capable of keeping companies agile and focused on the future.

For many enterprises, the fast-paced environment means that without SD-WAN solutions, you may struggle to perform at your full potential. A new virtualised environment could be just what you need to unlock new opportunities.