Digital Transformation is perhaps the most widely used term in today’s business vocabulary and with good reason. It has the power to make or break organizations. Organizations of all sizes and in every sector have embarked upon some form of digital transformation (DX) initiative. DX is now widely understood from business outcomes and from the high-level technology perspective. However, what most people fail to recognize is the importance of the underlying connectivity layer. A well-designed enterprise WAN can support successful DX initiatives. However, a poor WAN architecture for cloud, big data and mobile has the potential to derail the process.
IT leaders today have a good understanding of the role that technologies like cloud, big data, social and mobile play in digital transformation. These higher-level technology stacks get most of the attention, while foundational areas like enterprise WAN connectivity are often ignored. In the pre-digital transformation era, the CIO was the sole decision-maker in all technology-related issues.(Read More: SDN & SD-WAN: Transform Network Infrastructure and Security)
This traditional decision-making structure has unravelled with the arrival of new stakeholders, in particular, the Chief Marketing Officer and the Chief Digital Officer. As marketing and sales departments become more digitally savvy, CMO’s are signing up for marketing clouds, sales clouds and other SaaS applications without the involvement of the CIO.
Digital Transformation is Driving Network Transformation
The exact nature of digital transformation varies by sector, but, irrespective, the overall business outcome can be summed up under three areas, namely Customer Experience, Operations and Business Models.
- Customer Experience
- New Business Models
from two sources, information technology (IT) systems and operational technology (OT) systems. IT is used for data-centric computing while OT is used to monitor events, processes and devices and make adjustments in enterprise and industrial operations. Traditional MPLS networks were designed to handle IT traffic primarily from the user to the in-house datacenter. Owing to the rapid adoption of Software-as-a-Service, most WAN traffic is from the network edge to the cloud provider. Traditional Enterprise WAN architectures were never designed to handle this volume, variety and velocity of this traffic.
Read More: Network Security for SD-WAN
One way to deal with this data tsunami is to add broadband Internet to the mix. Though this solves the bandwidth challenge, latency and packet loss issues remain. As much of the data carried over the enterprise WAN is mission-critical and real-time, latency is an aspect that cannot be ignored. Hence, broadband as a replacement for traditional MPLS is a non-starter.
SD-WAN Enabling Digital Transformation in Manufacturing
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION INITIATIVES IN MANUFACTURING ARE FINALLY CATCHING UP WITH THEIR PEERS IN OTHER SECTORS. INITIATIVES LIKE SMART FACTORIES, INDUSTRY 4.0, AL & ML ARE GATHERING PACE, BUT SO IS THE DATA TSUNAMI HITTING THE ENTERPRISE WAN. DEALING WITH THIS DATA DELUGE WHILE ENSURING GREAT PERFORMANCE FOR MISSION-CRITICAL APPLICATIONS IS A CHALLENGE THAT CAN BE ADDRESSED WITH SD-WAN..
Once seen as a laggard, the manufacturing sector is now in the cusp of change. According to Research and Markets, digital transformation in manufacturing is expected to register a CAGR of over 16% from 2019 – 2024. Digital transformation is being incorporated into every aspect of the manufacturing process, from the factory floor to R&D, supply chain, logistics, operations, sales and marketing. The essential trends driving digital transformation in this sector are the deployment of industrial internet of things, cloud adoption and big data.
Aryaka’s Managed SD-WAN enables Digital Transformation
It is evident that network transformation goes hand-in-hand with digital transformation. Digital transformation use cases differ by sector, but there are similarities in the network transformation needs like cloud application performance, speed of rollout and security. Other aspects of similarity are the east-west traffic from IoT devices or machine-tomachine traffic and operational simplicity. In this section, we explore Aryaka’s solution to these challenges.
Cloud Application Performance
Cloud application performance is the one aspect that affects every single person in the organisation. Cloud applications refer to SaaS applications like Office365, Salesforce or other bespoke applications running on IaaS platforms like Microsoft’s Azure, Amazon’s AWS or Oracle’s cloud. Increasing cloud adoption has a direct impact on WAN traffic.
Aryaka’s fully managed SD-WAN as-a-service comes with direct connectivity to AWS, Azure and Oracle’s IaaS platforms. When connected to Aryaka’s SD-WAN, customers have an expressway to applications hosted on the most popular IaaS platforms. For users of SaaS applications like Office365 and Salesforce, Aryaka provides a ‘Virtual Office’ solution. With Virtual Office, application traffic is transported over Aryaka’s private core to the PoP that is closest to the SaaS provider. In addition, features like built-in WAN optimization and data de-duplication ensure that users experience great application performance.
Speed of Rollout
As a fully managed on-demand SD-WAN, Aryaka can deliver connectivity in a few days rather than in months. This is a critical requirement for sectors like retail, banking and healthcare, where it is common to have branches in remote locations. Also, Aryaka guarantees end-to-end performance with Day 1 SLAs.
Increased traffic and Internet access from the branch increases flexibility and performance. However, it also creates a security loophole that needs addressing. Installing security hardware in every branch is an expensive proposition. Aryaka’s solution comes with built-in security features. We offer end-toend security from the physical to the data link, network and application layers.
IoT and M2M Traffic
IoT is used extensively in sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, retail and logistics. Traffic from sensors and other devices are bursty, often mission-critical and very sensitive to latency. Aryaka’s SD-WAN can identify varying traffic types, segment them and apply policies that reflect business priorities.
As the complexity of WAN increases, the complexity of associated operations also increases. Specialized resources are required to design, configure and monitor the network. Commercial contracts and billing become complex. Thus, the agility of the IT team to respond to business requests is diminished.
Aryaka’s solution includes the first and last-mile management along with link procurement services. The MyAryaka Cloud Portal provides the status of the entire WAN, including the first and last mile. Customers can also monitor the performance of cloud applications from the portal.
This white paper explores the most popular applications of digital transformation across industries and assess the impact of these changes on the enterprise.