Three ways to drive better ROI from your branch network
Networking is now at the heart of how we delivering business processes to staff and customers. In an era of continuous improvement, you must improve your ROI (Return on Investment) from your branch network (your WAN – “wide area network”?)
And all companies want to do more with less (get a better return on their investment – ROI).
Networking has been a static and “legacy” area of corporate IT for a long time, but it is absolutely vital to keep everything running well, especially in the cloud-powered world we are in now.
Here’s some news – industry giant Cisco realised that the old world order is being turned on it’s head – they just bought SD-WAN leader Viptela for USD$610M. They recognise that customers will see much ROI from the next leap of networking – central software control – so they want to invest in it as well.
It confirms the trend that software is eating the world.
And it validates the investment that we at RedFig have made in skills in this technology to prepare.
ROI by quick response, high quality
When you need to deploy new IT solutions to users in your branches, without compromising on security or impacting existing apps, does your Networking department put the brakes on?
Maybe they have to go and tinker with a few hundred routers to do what you are asking, as well as change a few security systems to make sure that you can track the new data flows for troubleshooting later on. Complex and time consuming.
You need do a lot of development and testing, maybe with some home-grown tools, or maybe just manually.
Moving to a solution that is “software defined” makes you better at adapting to these change; in a software defined world, you define new policies, the system manages the comprehensive solution rollout.
With a legacy system, a simple requirement like a new pop-up store might need a completely seperate solution – with a simple error exposing your whole network to the risk of security breach, which could be a catastrophe.
By being able to respond to new requirements from a central, integrated system, your people (or ours) can respond to rolling out a new store or a mobile solution, in minimum time and with a better quality job.
Added bonus – driving out manual labour with automation is the best way to save money and time in networking.
In fact, switching to a “software defined” approach means that IT can treat hundreds or thousands of devices with a few central “policies” defined in the cloud; pushed down to the devices to change them automatically.
ROI by “buying power” and favourable contracts
If you can add bandwidth from any provider, then you can stimulate competitive behaviour from your suppliers.
So that you can swap any bandwidth provider in and out of your network under the covers, without affecting running services, you need a more modern, virtualised networking setup.
Similar to how the apps people have swapped to virtual servers; you can move running systems between hardware platforms with no-one noticing.
When you run a network like this, you can access the best bandwidth to suit your needs, not just what is available from your contracted provider when you are ask them.
Or, stitch together the best services from a telco without waiting for them to have to work out how to bill you for it and run a service like that. In our experience, the large companies could take years to do that.
That’s the true step change to costs – for you and your service provider.
Plus, its faster and more reliable.
ROI through lowering risk
Your branch is probably handling customer data – legislation and regulation pretty much demand that you encrypt that information all the time (think PCI DSS, but there’s a security breach almost every week from organisations that don’t encrypt).
So, making sure that you hide the details from prying eyes as a Standard Operating Procedure, built into your WAN, shows auditors you take privacy seriously.
It’s a great idea to secure that information from any prying eyes – data breaches cost a lot of money and damage brands; they can bring down companies and their share price instantly.
What to do?
Learn more about how SD-WAN applies in your situation. Uncover the potential for ROI improvements and where this technology can help you to improve productivity for your critical line of business staff.