Everyone loves to talk about digital transformation in abstract terms. But when the digital-rubber meets the organizational-road, it is in its applications that things become real.
As a result, there has been significant transformation throughout the enterprise IT stack with everything from application development to the data center undergoing considerable change to support the changing nature of applications. But the one area that remained stubbornly static was the network.
Until, that is, the emergence of Software-defined Networking (SDN) and Wide-Area Networks (SD-WANs).
The idea of an SD-WAN, in particular, is enticing: mix together traditional network connections with inexpensive broadband and then dynamically and intelligently route traffic wherever it’s needed, across the least expensive link, all while maintaining network performance.
There’s only one problem: organizations don’t care about network performance — at least, not exactly. They only care about the applications running on top of that network. And that’s where most SD-WAN solutions go sideways: they’re focused on the network, not the application.
While its status as the ‘next big thing’ may have initially drawn many networking professionals and IT executives to SD-WAN, it is not just a new coat of paint on an old technology. SD-WAN is a key part of the digital transformation story — but only if organizations approach it from the right perspective.
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