SD-WAN ROI Isn’t Just About Cost Savings

Enterprises often initiate conversations about cloud migration through the concept of cost savings. That monthly subscription-based invoice is simply a better finance decision than a big capital investment that comes with maintenance and ownership costs. When it comes to software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), it’s important to get past the basic return on investment (ROI) metrics and look at the other effects of the investment.

Basic Cost Savings: It’s true that SD-WAN reduces costs by transitioning networking from a capital expenditure to a monthly operating expense. It also increases the speed of connectivity, reduces downtime, and reduces IT costs by eliminating travel and reducing troubleshooting and maintenance. Some providers may offer estimates of increased speed on your WAN file transports at 20% or a reduction of network outages or shared application costs.  

It’s important that these cost savings are kept in perspective of the bigger revenue opportunities that come with an infrastructure upgrade like transitioning to SD-WAN. These will figure into an ROI, but they may not offer the big jumps in savings that you’re pursuing. Take a look at some of the ways in which SD-WAN can be a disruptive technology in your enterprise:

Improved Utilization of Assets: SD-WAN can be used to expand the network and its nodes, but it goes further than that. It also helps enterprises get the most value out of existing services such as multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) and 4G to improve application performance across all locations.

Reducing Operating Costs: Besides the lower monthly costs, SD-WAN also introduces lower hardware costs as well as reduced labor in the form of putting out networking fires, troubleshooting, and responding to problems at branch sites. In some cases, the lower operating expenses associated with various aspects of SD-WAN can offset your initial investment within the first year.

Increased Productivity: When you break down the network cost on a per-employee basis for voice over internet protocol and other cloud-based technology, you can see significant savings with a virtual networking solution like SD-WAN. Eliminating downtime, improving application performance, and speeding decision-making all have an impact on the ROI.

Security: When security must be upgraded at the node or device level, it can be a costly investment. With SD-WAN, security policies can be centrally orchestrated, while ensuring that authentication and authorization is appropriate for each location, application, and device. The network is shored up with better security but with the requirement of fewer resources and less time.

Higher QoS: Quality of service (QoS) is the ultimate measure of the network, and SD-WAN removes the risk of a slow application lookup or dropped packets and directly impacts the customer experience. SD-WAN offers not only higher QoS, but also failover resources and improved time-to-recovery.

SD-WAN isn’t simply a low-cost alternative to your current networking approach. It offers a myriad of benefits that create more than just cost savings: revenue opportunities, better customer experiences, and improved productivity. Contact us at One Connect for more information.