by Réan van Niekerk, Metacom CEO.
According to the latest SD-WAN study by Dell-Oro Group, SD-WAN sales are predicted to reach $US2.2 billion by 2022, a 35% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) overall and a CAGR of 41% for SD-WAN software alone. The enterprise has become the most enthusiastic SD-WAN customer thanks to the technology’s ubiquity, scalability and ability to deliver network elasticity. In a landscape where cloud, big data and compute are competitive essentials, SD-WAN is revolutionising the network and the services it controls.
That said, many organisations are still unsure as to exactly what SD-WAN represents and the value it truly delivers. It has sat so long in the lexicon of buzzwords, alongside big data, quantum computing and blockchain, that few know what lies past the hype and in the hardware.
The reality is that SD-WAN can deploy and manage cloud, big data, analytics, edge computing and mobility services with relative simplicity while layering on top of that the essentials of security, flexibility and scale.
Its agility allows for the organisation to integrate new revenue-focused services into its WAN environment, rapidly deploying cloud, big data, analytics, mobility services and edge computing. The key words here are ‘rapid’ and ‘agile’. They are the tools that allow the organisation to pivot with intent and with long-term results.
The challenge that most organisations face is that their traditional WAN systems aren’t designed to cope with cloud-based services. They lack bandwidth and the security architecture required for managed localised break out or managed access to cloud services.
IT departments remain under pressure to somehow take legacy IT architecture and transmogrify it into an adaptable solution that fits an evolving technology landscape. The cliché of square peg and round hole has never been more apt.
The inability to adapt to these shifting network demands isn’t just coming from ageing infrastructure, it is also affected by reluctance or uncertainty from IT departments. This has proven, particularly in the South African market, to be a stumbling block to adoption. Until now.
The SD-WAN market size by geography, according to Statista, puts Middle East and Africa at $US80 million in 2018 and this is predicted to hit $US 100 million by 2022. Market share and organisation interest are increasing exponentially and one of the biggest drivers is revenue.
Revenue is the fairly obvious key to unlocking any technology’s adoption popularity. SD-WAN comes in at a cost and capability point that makes it a sustainable and intelligent investment for the enterprise. It bypasses the challenges currently afflicting the traditional network – limited bandwidth, high cost of dedicated circuits, and the inability to not allow for large volumes of cloud-based data to be routed through corporate WAN infrastructure.
SD-WAN is the architecture answer to the problems that few organisations are in the mood to wrestle. Managing networks that allow for greater bandwidth, multiple last mile connections and enhanced connectivity is more useful and far better for bottom line results.
It also allows for localised, secure, managed break-out, and for corporate network resources to be managed more effectively.
Technically, SD-WAN has a portfolio that makes sense to the business. Multiple broadband services provided to a specific site cost less than half of an existing dedicated circuit and the organisation can have two or three different connections to a specific remote site with seamless failover. It’s a smorgasbord of service quality, load balancing, improved reliability, greater speed and security that makes the SD-WAN option an intelligent one.
These are the reasons why SD-WAN has become the apple of the enterprise eye. It’s flexible, low cost and reliable with the kind of network elasticity few can afford to ignore.