You don’t need an MBA to know that the goal of most businesses is growing bigger to maximise profit. But have you stopped to consider that one way of keeping hold of your money is not to spend it at all?
You have to spend money to make money, and you definitely don’t want to use it all up before you start making it back. With so many companies entirely dependent on technology these days, IT is becoming an increasingly impactful cost on businesses.
So how do you cut down on these essential running costs without compromising the backbone of your business? This is where an SD WAN can come in – an inexpensive way to greatly improve your network performance, and therefore the growth of your company as a whole.
SD WANs Explained
A WAN (or Wide Area Network) is most likely already in use in your business. Linking your IT infrastructure across multiple branches with their own dedicated connections, this is what centralises the majority of your computers, servers, etc. Depending on the current size of your business, the size of this network can range anywhere from the length of a street to all over the world.
In addition to the equipment that keeps your WAN up and running, it’s standard for most of your company’s IT support staff to work in this location. Running important maintenance on these vital systems is likely one of the most important roles in your business.
An SD WAN is essentially already the network you’re familiar with, but with a difference. The SD stands for ‘software defined’, meaning that you can use software to access a range of WAN features that otherwise may be out of reach. From altering the way that devices are controlled to revamping how they communicate with one another, the inclusion of an SD WAN system can revolutionise your company.
What An SD WAN System Can Do For You
Rather than adding any extra physical equipment to your roster, an SD WAN functions as a portal that uses a secure connection to grant your team a wide variety of useful features. This adds a huge amount of functionality to your IT infrastructure that would otherwise have taken far more time and money, and takes away the issue of some inconvenient situations.
Communication between devices is key, and one of the most useful features of an SD WAN is how it can streamline communication. By translating the language of each network device so that all of the protocols can be mutually understood, the system allows practically every device to communicate. In the process, this renders individual connection types obsolete – and this could revolutionise your business’s IT operations.
Unifying Your Systems
Without the functions of a specialist SD WAN system, you would need to install a dedicated circuit to support locations and bring them online, which would take valuable time (months upon months) to establish, preventing the branch from starting operations, and therefore costing you potential revenue. But with an SD WAN, this is entirely unnecessary; provided the software can make a secure connection with the other branch, the new devices will slot straight into your IT infrastructure, making the costs typically associated with bringing a new location online virtually disappear.
By removing the issue of installing new physical circuits, your business can operate more harmoniously, with each location unified regardless of location. Instead of dealing with separate fragments of your IT infrastructure, you can relieve the strain on your business with the ability to treat it as one singular, frictionless system.
IT Support From Anywhere
But even beyond this initial efficiency, an SD WAN system can continue to hugely benefit the daily operations of your IT team. Previously, your workers would have been tied to one specific location, likely to maintain the critical systems and servers. While this works adequately for the equipment within their reach, you’ll likely run into some serious issues if devices at other branches malfunction or require attention. Without paying for extra IT staff at each branch, and therefore having to handle the difficulties that come with managing multiple teams, there seemingly isn’t an elegant solution.
But with an SD WAN, the functions of any device within the WAN can be accessed remotely. Reconfiguring devices at a separate branch no longer requires sending out an important team member or struggling through a phone call or video call. Not only does this streamline operations, but it also maximises the potential of your IT staff while ensuring that their work isn’t hindered by physical restraints.
No longer will your key servers and systems be put at a higher level of risk when a certain team member isn’t available to maintain them. They can now reach out to other systems at different locations without having to leave their post, ensuring that the most important parts of your IT infrastructure are always the main priority.
Growing Your Business
By making use of an SD WAN system, you can free up a huge proportion of your operational spending by reducing your IT networking costs – massively beneficial for maximising growth. You have to spend a good amount of money to keep a high-quality IT team up and running, and even if you decide to outsource to more cost-effective IT service providers, an SD WAN ensures that the money you spend remains within your own business.
SD WANs, of course, require a level of dedicated support, possibly from a managed service. But ultimately, this still means that you’re working with one specialist provider instead of attempting to unify several, allowing them to focus on your system at all times.
By embracing the opportunities that an SD WAN system can provide, you’re reducing the operational costs of your business while gaining a far greater level of flexibility with supporting the IT systems of other branches. As efficient IT systems become increasingly vital to the growth of a business, utilising an SD WAN could give your company a massive advantage.