Industry talking to customers What's this? Building an SD-WAN business case: Three ways to get started Published: September 25th, 2019 By: IT World Canada By now the benefits of adopting SD-WAN are well documented. The best SD-WAN solutions help organizations use their WAN services more effectively and economically, while giving users the freedom to better engage customers, empower employees, optimize business processes, and innovate.Research, however, tends to show that while there’s a strong appetite to embrace SD-WAN, many have yet to take action. As with so many projects on an IT manager’s wish list, the biggest barrier is often a lack of budget or resources.When it comes to SD-WAN, however, the potential performance boost and savings make it well worth prioritizing. As organizations seek to benefit from their own digital transformation, the right SD-WAN solution can help them achieve their goals and drive tangible business impact. For IT managers who want to build a business case to help secure funding and pave the way for SD-WAN, here are some good places to start a conversation with business leads.Better team performance. If you’re running a voice over IP solution and are hearing complaints about the quality of applications or dropped/poor connections, know that SD-WAN can help tackle this issue head on. Solutions can be configured to prioritize traffic on the network deemed to be business critical, and to support VoIP applications. By clearing the way for staff productivity apps, teams can get more done during the day, enjoy a better experience while they work, and decrease day-to-day pressure on IT teams.Improved security. SD-WAN can greatly improve your organization’s security, and even reduce security-related costs through next-generation technology, artificial intelligence and eliminating the need for multiple, point security solutions. But this is only true if you choose a solution with robust and automated security built-in. As companies embrace digital transformation, SD-WAN and security must be tightly integrated. Look for something that improves security while also helping to maximize network performance by automatically routing applications to optimize network bandwidth based on individual application and user needs. Also, be sure to find a solution that provides a “single-pane-of-glass” view into the network, critical for optimizing security.Maximize potential of the cloud. According to a 2018 survey, 73 percent of organizations already have some portion of their computing infrastructure in the cloud. SD-WAN enables direct cloud access at the branch level, meaning no matter where they sit, employees can directly access cloud applications without placing additional strain on the network. And as the volume of cloud-based applications continues to grow, so does the cost of moving data over a WAN. By reducing WAN traffic, IDC found that some companies can save up to 39 per cent after implementing SD-WAN.While IT managers must juggle many competing priorities, the case for secure SD-WAN is clear. Take steps now to build an implementation plan and realize the potential cost savings and performance and security gains that await.Learn more about Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN solution, which includes best-of-breed next-generation firewall (NGFW) security, SD-WAN, advanced routing, and WAN optimization capabilities, delivering a security-driven networking WAN edge transformation in a unified offering.