While many from the Boomer and even Generation X groups might marvel at the progress of tech — some Boomers and more than a few Xers would describe it as an invasion — the tech savvy and tech loving, particularly those of a more recent “vintage,” shrug their shoulders, as if to say, “Yeah, so what? That’s the way things are now.”
Forward-thinking companies recognized long ago what was happening; they saw the continued rise of cloud, mobile tech, and an Internet of Things that by the early 2020s will comprise tens of billions of connected “smart” devices, and committed to a digital transformation. For most of these companies, part of this tech supercharge has involved extending and expanding their networks.
Many organizations have yet to commit to moving beyond traditional legacy network elements. Some companies are playing it safe, moving forward incrementally, while others are content to stand pat. The problem with these low-risk approaches is that the technological landscape is evolving at breakneck speed. Unless a company is decisive, agile, and committed to continuously upping its game, it runs the risk of being lapped by competitors and fading into mediocrity and, eventually, irrelevance.
Cradlepoint’s 2017 State of the Network Business Intelligence Report paints a vivid picture of the world of work as it currently stands:
On a Monday morning, a marketing director riding the train to work uses his commute to answer email from clients and uses an instant messenger app to check in with colleagues. After he gets off the train and leaves the station, he passes a police officer in her car. She’s filing a few reports on her laptop and offloading video footage before she clocks off and heads home. On her way home, she drives by a construction site, where the site manager is using a tablet to view the location of each of the company’s trucks heading to the site with more materials. Next door at a hospital, a dozen physicians use video conferencing to consult with their patients. Outside, a nurse steps onto a bus that’s been converted to a mobile medical clinic. As the bus pulls away, the nurse uses a laptop to review the chart of the first patient of the day.
To shed light on the question of where exactly we are on the journey from legacy WANs to a new world of cloud-enabled, software-defined and LTE-pervasive WANs, Cradlepoint executed a survey-based study on LTE adoption that includes perspectives on software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). The data in this report provides a benchmark for IT teams to understand where they are with regards to implementing new enterprise WAN architectures.
Forward-thinking enterprises leverage LTE to complement, augment, extend, and even replace traditional networks:
- COMPLEMENT. It provides failover connectivity — a “connectivity insurance policy” to companies seeking assurance that even when their wired networks go down, they will remain connected.
- AUGMENT. It provides the extra bandwidth that is needed to enhance productivity and ensure mission-critical applications continue to run smoothly. Drop-in overlay or underlay networks aid in network resiliency, agility, and flexibility.
- EXTEND. On the road, in remote locations, in places where no infrastructure yet exists — LTE extends the network to go where it is needed, when it is needed.
- REPLACE. It is generally cheaper to implement LTE-agile network solutions than to maintain a traditional legacy network — and more agile for today’s changing topology.
Legacy WANs cannot keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of today’s lean and agile connected enterprise, causing IT organizations to extend and revamp their legacy WANs to be cloud-enabled, software-defined and LTE-pervasive to address the demand for more bandwidth, mobility, agility, and security — all while reducing operational costs.
Read Cradlepoint’s 2017 State of the Network Business Intelligence Report to find out more about LTE adoption, software-defined WAN and cloud, and to learn where you stand in the implementation of new enterprise WAN architectures.