A secure system starts with a secure network. And this is where an SD-WAN can provide an incredible competitive advantage. It is designed from the outset to be application-aware, and therefore gives unprecedented levels of insight, enabling granular management of security policies on an application by application basis.
As well as enabling visibility over the network, SDN technology provides control. Network management is centralised by an SDN controller that maintains a global view of the network. This virtualised network environment makes it easier to update security rules and put up firewalls in rapid-time, so response times are shorter for threats, across all sites, devices and the cloud. Furthermore, this virtualisation provides the crucial visibility necessary to audit data-processes and guarantee their adherence to evolving privacy and sovereignty legislation.
Data is becoming the foundation for business success. You need to look after it – starting with a network that empowers security and visibility across its entire length and breadth. In a competitive environment where businesses can live or die by the strength of their data management, an SD-WAN can provide an invaluable advantage.
We investigated the most significant challenges to success for business leaders from a range of sectors across the five countries surveyed:
We asked what businesses are doing to become more trustworthy in the eyes of customers, prospects and potential partners. The highest agreement came from financial services (93%) followed by manufacturing and IT businesses (88%). Professional services recorded the lowest level of agreement (81%)
When asked to share their views on new digital technologies. 48% of retailers reportedly viewed data collection as crucial to their long-term strategy, compared to a cross-sector average of 41%. Compare this, however, to the 80% of all business leaders who agreed it was a key business challenge to actually use data to meet and inform business objectives rather than just collecting it. Interestingly, 38% of manufacturers viewed cyber-security as crucial to their long-term strategy, against a 32% average.
When adopting new technologies at pace, organisations need a network that can keep up. Flexibly adding or removing bandwidth according to the demands of the business is far easier and quicker when the process is virtualised. If a mission-critical and bandwidth-heavy process, like real-time video editing for example, is moved to the cloud, an SD-WAN can easily add network support where needed, without having to make any physical infrastructure changes.
This is vital because uptime and reliability becomes an essential part of the customer’s brand experience. If your website is slow or fails to load, your customers will quickly move on – the competition is a click away. As organisations move more critical applications online, the total cost of network downtime dramatically rises
An SD-WAN gives organisations the ability to direct different types of traffic via the best connectivity paths, using the network to get the most value and performance possible out of other digital investments. This is what helps businesses adapt at pace, removing bottlenecks and smoothing transformation to drive growth.
Regarding the impact of digitalisation on their use of physical space, businesses reported a range of results.
Financial services (79%) and retail (77%) businesses were most likely to report using less physical space than two years ago, compared to an average of 72%.
Financial services and technology businesses were also most likely to spread that space across a greater number physical locations (80% vs the average of 74%).
SDN technology is essential for meeting the demands of digital businesses and cloud-first organisations. It supports the increased use of automation technologies, freeing up time for employees to prioritise more strategic work.
In this sense, SDN acts as a vital enabling platform for talent to combine with technology – with ongoing business success as the result.
Improving staff retention and improving skillsets was a bigger priority for the financial services industry (65% vs a 58% cross-sector average).
For retail businesses, corporate values and mission were notably more important for attracting employees than other industries (87% vs 82%).
When it comes to changing employee skillsets, 92% of retailers surveyed are also actively training their employees on new digital technologies, compared to just 79% of public sector respondents and against a cross-industry average of 87%.