South Africa’s IT landscape is evolving rapidly due to the effects of the pandemic.

By Henroe Burns, sales specialist at Cisco Systems South Africa

Simply put, business relies on networks to provide secure business-critical services. Moreover, the adoption of cloud-based services has increased exponentially, due to cloud-first strategies becoming more predominant within the South African market.

We’ve seen the trend with organisations moving to hybrid working models, combining office-based environments with work-from-home (WFH). As a result, traffic patterns have shifted from “inside-out” to “outside-in”, typically via a corporate VPN, with a need to access internal applications.

This type of challenge has forced businesses to accelerate cloud adoption by redirecting some traffic directly to the cloud. This, in itself, has created new challenges with regards to latency between cloud regions, a wider security exposure, application performance fluctuation and a lack of visibility.

SD-WAN has generally been seen as a method to connect campus and branch networks and at the same time has been addressing the WFH challenges faced by business. Its versatility has come to the fore, giving business the insights and security needed to ensure quality service and seamless end-user experience.

In our case, with SD-WAN, Cisco offers a cloud-first architecture that separates data and control planes, managed through our Cisco vManage console. You can quickly establish an SD-WAN overlay fabric to connect data centres, branches, campuses, and co-location facilities to improve network speed, security, and efficiency. This type of technology helps ensure a predictable user experience for applications and gives end-to-end visibility when connecting to cloud applications. Furthermore, it provides a seamless multi-cloud architecture while integrating robust, best-in-class security.

Businesses need to implement new ways to securely connect remote users, while maintaining chief insights into network traffic and application experience, and Cisco SD-WAN delivers these capabilities in a simplified management experience – whether it be on-premise or in the cloud.

The companies that have adopted SD-WAN have seen the benefits and understand why adopting this technology is paramount for business resilience. Both multi-national corporations and small/medium enterprise can experience the following benefits from SD-WAN:

* Lower cost of connectivity while increasing bandwidth;

* More efficient WAN management;

* Faster onboarding of new services;

* Reduction in unplanned downtime;

* Faster implementation of policy and configuration changes; and

* Easier cloud migrations with a secure cloud scale solution.