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Why it's risky to not deploy a software-defined WAN

Doug Farndale, Vice President, APAC Silver Peak | June 22, 2016
Businesses need to stay connected and up to speed.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Playing catch-up is never an easy win. It is disruptors, market leaders, and early adopters that have managed to turn first mover advantage into true business success. Taking the first step is never easy, but always necessary.

Whenever technology evolves from one thing to the next, there's always a certain degree of perceived risk involved. Adopting new technology can disrupt workers because of a change in process, cause unnecessary downtime due to integration issues, or fail because it's new and unproven.

Because of these possibilities, many CIOs and other business leaders prefer to wait until technology matures before deploying. Historically, having this cautious attitude seemed wise. Let the early adopters cut their teeth and then deploy new technologies when the best practices have been developed. In many ways, this is the tech equivalent of "keeping up with the Joneses".

While this strategy may have worked in the past, today there is more risk in not being an earlier adopter than there is by being one. Digital organisations move with speed; that's where the competitive advantage comes from. Success in business isn't based on the company that has the best products or even the best people. Sustained market leadership is based on an organisations ability to adapt to market changes faster than the competition.

Here are key considerations organisations need to bear in mind in order to stay connected and up to speed:

You don't want to be held back by your network

Becoming a digital organisation means having to be more agile and nimble than the competition. This requires having an agile IT foundation that enables the company to make rapid changes. IT leaders understand this well and is the primary reason why companies spent over $12 billion globally on technologies related to digital initiatives.

However, companies can only be as agile as the least agile component, and today that is the network, particularly the wide area network (WAN).Legacy networks are rigid in nature and slow to change. In fact, in a study conducted last year, ZK Research found that, on average; it takes over four months for businesses to make even a simple network change.

Complex changes can sometimes take over a year to implement - hardly the calling card of a business that is striving to be agile.

You don't want to be stuck on the losing side of a price war with your service provider

For all the hype regarding cost savings regarding SD-WANs - and the cost savings can be significant - that isn't the true value of the technology. I've never been a big supporter of implementing new technologies to save money, as unforeseen things can happen along the way that could diminish the cost savings.


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