When software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) was first adopted, its earliest fans were retailers needing a cohesive networking solution across their locations. From managing inventory to monitoring on-site devices and integrating sales data, retailers needed reliable connectivity that would be possible on thin retail margins.
Now, other industries are rapidly deploying SD-WAN, and the benefits are evident across any enterprise with multiple branches and satellite locations able to replace existing WAN solutions with SD-WAN. It not only is quick to deploy, but it allows easy integration of cloud solutions and unified management that reduces headaches for IT. It also equips bandwidth-hungry applications and provides high-quality connections that prepare enterprises for expanding their cloud investment.
The downside to streamlined connectivity is, of course, a broadening of the security plane. Enterprises are learning the importance of choosing an SD-WAN with integrated security, rather than solutions that tack on security as an afterthought.
Take a look at how three industries are gaining the advantages of SD-WAN:
Manufacturing: Like in all industries, SD-WAN reduces networking costs and improves the management of network traffic for manufacturing companies, but there are also important benefits that uniquely impact the OT environment. When IT and OT networks are integrated, there’s new vulnerability introduced where malicious actors may be able to access data and systems through IT.
SD-WAN with integrated security not only prevents attacks, but also ensures that production continues at an optimal pace because it is protecting the reliability and safety of the plant and its employees. Secure SD-WAN is equipped with next generation firewall, application inspection, botnet protection, and advanced threat protection, weaving these features together into an integrated networking solution for manufacturing that prevents the exploitation of OT vulnerabilities.
Financial Services: SD-WAN provides the high-speed performance that financial services enterprises require to be competitive in an increasingly digital market, protected by features like next generation firewall to ensure the integrity of transactions, systems, and data.
Secure SD-WAN offers single pane-of-glass management, which enables the financial institution to meet compliance requirements for reporting. Zero-touch deployment allows secure SD-WAN to be easily implemented across all locations for a uniform and secure approach to networking.
Financial institutions also benefit from the accelerated application performance available with SD-WA because it supports micro-second transactions. Traffic optimization features allow SD-WAN to quickly identify the application and determine the best pathway based on predetermined business policy. When congestion or latency threaten a prioritized transmission, the solution will automatically make adjustments to find the next-best link.
Health Care: While secure SD-WAN has countless applications across an industry with many branch locations, fleets of internet of things (IoT) devices, and real-time accessibility to patient records, one of the more notable applications is in telemedicine.
This quickly-growing segment of health care relies heavily on the quality of a real-time connection, and health care organizations require reliable networking solutions to provide remote exams and ensure better outcomes for patients. As this format of health care continues to grow and incorporates more remote diagnostic equipment or artificial intelligence features, the role of SD-WAN will only grow.
SD-WAN supports the high-bandwidth needs of video conferencing, as well as the access to up-to-date patient records that are consistent across every provider serving that patient. In addition, SD-WAN is able to offer the security features that support compliance with federal privacy laws around patient records without introducing burdensome networking costs.No matter what industry your enterprise supports, the specific benefits of SD-WAN may be unique to your circumstances. Contact us at Cory Communications to learn more about the advantages you might experience when you upgrade to SD-WAN.