SD-WAN in the Age of Digital Innovation

August 12, 2020

Executive Summary

Most organizations are in the midst of some form of digital innovation (DI) – leveraging technology to achieve specific goals—and ultimately deliver greater value to their customers. But DI also brings disruption. Disruption in the form of an expanded attack surface and the introduction of a more sophisticated threat landscape. Disruption can also lead to increased complexity as organizations try to counter these new threats with a range of new security solutions. Finally, maintaining compliance with relevant industy and regulatory standards such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes even more of a challenge.

However, despite these issues, one key DI has rapidly going mainstream – software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN). Unfortunately, SD-WAN is a prime example of the paradox of DI: a transformative technology that can potentially move the business to the next level, but the expanded attack surface it creates can expose the organization to significant risk. The challenge is how to take advantage of SD-WAN while offsetting the potential disruption than can come with it.

Digital Innovations in Parallel

Although it may not be thought of today as a digital innovation, moving workloads and infrastructure to any number of public clouds has had and continues to have a major impact on how organizations operate. The wide-scale acceptance of the use of public clouds allows businesses to operate with more agility and scale more quickly.

How public clouds are used looks a little different at each organization, but it is almost always marked by a hybrid cloud architecture. Since an application can be anywhere at any given point of time – on-premises or in the public cloud and can be moved between the two environments easily – the agility enabled by the use of public cloud can cause significant disruption for the network operations team in managing the wide area network.

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Digital Transformation, Network Security, SD-WAN