BLOG: Weighing the Benefits of SD-WAN for Your Business

Network challenges are one of the many new realities businesses have faced during the pandemic. Outdated legacy networks are no longer equipped to handle the demands of today’s changing business environment, especially as organizations continue to support at-home workers and the move to the cloud.

Security continues to be a major concern in our new reality and it’s important for organizations to look for ways to increase security while reducing complexity for their team members.

Helm Partners works with a variety of businesses to provide secure, agile network strategies and solutions. Technologies such as SD-WAN (Software-defined wide-area network) will increase the security, speed, viability and redundancy of your wide-area network infrastructure. This technology will also help to speed and secure your transition to cloud-based services.

What is SD-WAN? 

SD-WAN is a software-based approach to managing your wide area network. While the traditional WAN was used to connect users at a branch or work site to applications hosted on servers, today’s cloud-centric world has created an explosion of WAN traffic the traditional WAN can no longer handle. SD-WAN makes your network more resilient and prioritizes your business-focused applications. SD-WAN also offers your IT increased visibility into what’s happening on your network.

The global COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to reevaluate their IT strategies. During this period of uncertainty, cloud-based IT grew in popularity and accelerated the migration process for many businesses that had been gradually transitioning to the cloud. 

Many enterprises, now entirely remote, rely on their business applications being sent reliably over the internet. A traditional WAN that can’t keep pace with these new bandwidth demands can be detrimental for businesses. 

But What about Security? 

Moving network traffic from a private MPLS networks to public broadband can significantly reduce cost but also increase your security risk. SD-WAN solutions have evolved to integrate a number of key security technologies to reduce your risk and increase your overall security posture. Fully managed SD-WAN offerings can further reduce the threats to your environment by allowing security professionals 24/7 monitoring and management of your environment.

Other benefits include: 

  • Reduced IT costs 
  • Improved application performance and enhanced productivity 
  • Simplified business operations with automation and cloud-based management 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits. 

Benefit #1: Reduced IT Costs 

SD-WAN reduces IT costs by transferring traffic from high cost (MPLS) connections to commodity broadband internet links. Businesses no longer have to rely on expensive MPLS lines and can leverage more cost-effective connections, including fiber, cable, DSL, and even mobile technologies. 

Overall, SD-WAN also provides a better return on investment. By increasing the reliability of WAN services, SD-WAN significantly reduces costs—for many enterprises, managing the WAN is an expensive and inflexible process. 

Benefit #2: Improved Performance and Productivity 

SD-WAN provides a secure, private connection that is link agnostic and cloud-aware. Unlike MPLS, which has powered private connectivity for years, SD-WAN can also provide real-time traffic steering and dynamic load-balancing, adapting to changes in the network as necessary. 

For businesses that require network speed and stability, SD-WAN significantly improves application performance and allows teams to be more productive. 

Benefit #3: Simplified Business Operations 

SD-WAN gives your IT team the ability to centrally manage the environment and utilize network services on demand. WAN management and security can be handled from a centralized, cloud-delivered management dashboard. 

As businesses add new locations, setting up a new, secure site can be done quickly and easily. 

Is SD-WAN Right for Your Business? 

Now more than ever, intelligent, adaptive networks are needed to keep businesses running smoothly. One of the great things about SD-WAN is that it can mix and match connection links to help businesses avoid dropouts and outages. 

However, security is also an important consideration. Our goal is to help you create the best possible experience for your customers and employees while also protecting your business from security threats. 

As companies move to a more software-driven model, we can serve as your partner by helping you make the right adjustments to your network. It is possible to create the best outcomes for your business with security still a top priority. 

We’re Here to Help! 

Did you know Helm Partners now offers services to help enhance your security program? Contact us today for a cybersecurity assessment—we’ll identify gaps in your program and opportunities for enhancements. 

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