Whether we realize it or not, our businesses are dependent on connections to the rest of the world. Organizations have been adopting networking and cloud solutions for years, but the pandemic — and the subsequent shift in many sectors to remote work — accelerated that transition. But what does that mean going forward? As options proliferate, how do decision makers find a solution that fits?
Networks and Connections
Networks and cloud are the future. Many everyday business applications have already transitioned to the cloud — or are headed there rapidly. Telephone, voice, video, email and business applications are all cloud-based. And networks are the critical path to reaching them securely and privately.
Networks can scale and grow based on the size and complexity of an organization. Companies with multiple locations connect them so employees can use the same applications for a variety of tasks:
- Recording orders
- Changing inventory
- Conducting PoS
- Sharing files
- Backing up data
All these connections are networks — and the reason to use networks is for efficiency, accuracy, and security.
An Accelerating Trend
The pandemic has forced organizations of all sizes, in all verticals, to think about the applications they depend on to operate, sell, service and report. Where are they? How easily — and more importantly, how securely — can they be accessed by staff working remotely?
Of course, cloud transitions aren’t new. But the pandemic has accelerated adoption — especially for productivity applications like telephone service. The global public cloud service market is expected to reach $623.3 billion by 2023. Cloud offers businesses flexibility, accessibility and ease of management — but relying on cloud also means you need to pay attention to your networks.
Choosing a Solution
If you’re a business or agency considering new (or additional) cloud solutions, big names like AWS or Azure might feel like the obvious choice. But they’re not right for everyone, all the time.
The major players make a lot of headlines — some good, some bad — so they’re often top of mind. But planning a move to the cloud involves more than just a big name. Sometimes selecting a smaller, more focused vendor can be the right choice. Smaller vendors may actually serve you better, and negotiating with a company that isn’t a “big name” often gives you a little more power. Consider the following when selecting a cloud provider:
- What do you want to move?
- Why are you moving to the cloud?
- What are your cloud transition goals?
- What skills or resources do you need to facilitate your transition?
- Do you have those skills in-house?
- Are there any laws or policies governing your industry that need to be considered?
- What does your budget look like?
- Will your needs change over time or be relatively constant?
- What kind of support do you need once the transition is complete?
It’s important to remember that bigger doesn’t always mean better.
Where Does SD-WAN Cloud Fit In?
A transition to cloud is pretty much a foregone conclusion for most organizations at this point. The benefits of cloud outweigh the challenges. The move won’t be instantaneous, but it will happen as companies seek out advice, set goals and find solutions.
The inevitable shift to cloud will drive a need for secure, reliable networks. And software-defined networks — SD-WAN — will play a key role because they’re so much easier than traditional solutions to spin up and change. Flexibility will be key in the future of cloud and networks. The world is moving away from a monolithic, static network to something that is easier to deploy, change and manage, and that can also deliver superior service for a lower cost.
Cost-effective construction and deployment of networks to connect clouds is key. A cloud transition is well and good, but once data is in the cloud, you need to be able to access it — securely, reliably and at minimal cost. And that’s where SD-WAN will come into its own. Just as cloud has virtualized storage and location of applications, SD-WAN virtualizes networks, converting them to a service that is easy to deploy and manage over top of any existing connection.
SD-WAN Solutions for Today — and Tomorrow
At Multapplied, we empower channel partners to connect people, data and applications through our multi-carrier managed SD-WAN. Want to know more about how we can support your cloud transition, multi-cloud solution or remote access? Contact our experts today.