A software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) is a way for organizations to create a virtual layer in order to manage and secure their networks. This is important in a world where all kinds of different devices are connecting in different ways, from different locations, all the time. While SD-WAN has already shown its worth, here are some of the biggest SD-WAN trends for 2021.
Greater Need from Remote Workers
If there’s one thing we’ve learned the past year, it’s people can work from home. Of course, this isn’t preferable or possible for every profession. But for many, it’s clearly a viable option.
As companies made necessary adjustments to combat the spread of COVID-19, some found they actually operate better with a more remote workforce. While this is all fine and good in theory, it comes with its own set of challenges. Maybe the most significant of these is safeguarding enterprise assets when networks are forced to expand in new ways.
SD-WAN allows organizations to run networks more efficiently, and with greater visibility. These are both essential for facilitating remote network access is being been secure.
Remote Can Take on a Whole New Meaning
When considering the term “remote work,” many will just envision someone at a home office. But this isn’t necessarily the case. As the nature of work evolves, there are increasingly more places that will need to become accessible to enterprise networks. This means a few things for organizations.
For starters, work, and thus network access, is happening in more places than ever before. The proliferation of cloud applications has made this far more viable. One of the great benefits of having this kind of flexibility is it facilitates new ways of completing projects in the field. Tasks that would have previously been incredibly difficult, if not impossible, can be made routine cloud-based enterprise tools for analytics and other functions. This can only happen, however, if networks are able to adapt along with these applications’ requirements. Working with an SD-WAN provider is an ideal way to accomplish this while also ensuring the security of networks.
Let’s look at an example of how this concept can be incredibly useful to organizations. Say a geological worker is running some test samples out in the field. Instead of having to wait for analysis or bring samples back to a lab, by deploying cloud-based enterprise network applications, this can all happen on-site. The worker can cut down the back-and-forth, which saves time and money. Clearly, the power of SD-WAN has its benefits.
Mobile Isn’t a Fad
Over the past few years, usage of mobile devices has taken on a whole new meaning. As outlined in the previous section, there are compelling reasons for why mobile is highly practical for enterprises. While this is a clear argument to be made for embracing strict use cases, it’s also essential to understand that many personal mobile devices connecting to enterprise networks.
Even if employees primarily use work phones, individuals are still going to connect with personal devices on occasions. These are much harder to secure for enterprises because it’s impossible to monitor what’s happening with these when they’re off the corporate network. Greater visibility and response with SD-WAN can help combat some of the implied security issues.
IoT Will Continue Maturing
The Internet of Things has been a popular term for years now. And there’s good reason for this, as it’s estimated there will be up to 50 billion connected devices by the year 2030. That’s a massive web of IoT connections, which means enterprises need to start thinking about protecting themselves from vulnerabilities now. SD-WAN can provide the architecture for keeping enterprise networks airtight, even as the potential attack surface grows.
Network security and functionality need to be top priorities for enterprises in 2021. By employing SD-WAN, organizations can be far more effective with network security and performance.