Do You Have What It Takes to Transform?


Netflix. Uber. Amazon. Tesla. There’s a commonality between brands that are changing today’s market landscape. They use technology to transform the way business has been done, to improve efficiencies, and to very precisely meet customer demands. This transformation through digital technologies is taking place across every industry vertical and, fortunately or unfortunately, “survival of the fittest” applies here as well.

Based on IDC’s 2016 FutureScape CIO Agenda Prediction 8: “By 2017, 60% of digital transformation initiatives will not be able to scale because of a lack of strategic architecture.” That’s imaginable, given that the network infrastructure required to deliver digital transformation is too complex to be managed with yesterday’s approaches. Yet another incremental approach will not do. Enterprises need to wholeheartedly embrace the cloud, IoT, big data analytics, and mobility. This is an initiative of strategic importance that can define the competitiveness of an enterprise. It’s also an opportunity to define its place as a game-changer for the enterprise.

As enterprise IT teams prepare for transformation, the landscape they see changes dramatically:

  • Applications are split between on-premises and cloud-based datacenters.
  • Data is at multiple locations with backup and recovery being a persistent drain on resources.
  • The network is now hybrid, leveraging a combination of technologies for reduced costs but resulting in loss of performance and visibility.
  • Users are increasingly mobile. They are accessing corporate data and applications from multiple devices — secure and insecure — thus increasing the attack surface.

Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) has been rightly mentioned as a savior in these complex environments by multiple industry experts. Another IDC study indicates that the SD-WAN market “will exceed $6 billion in 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 90% over the 2015–2020 forecast period.” While the need for a solution will undoubtedly drive SD-WAN adoption, the intent of transformation must be driven by game-changing technology, not old routers in new boxes.

If done correctly, SD-WAN alone can save enterprises up to US$3 million within one year (for a 50-site enterprise with 25 users per site). Add to that US$10,905 worth of annual improvement in business productivity per every 100 users if WAN optimization is leveraged.

What’s important is to do it correctly.

Riverbed has been mentioned as a Leader in over 11 Gartner Magic Quadrants. With a customer base of over 27,000 customers, the technology developed here is for transformation — not incremental improvements. Riverbed’s solution is differentiated, at a very high level, in two ways:

  1. It does not aim to solve only a point problem — for instance, the management of the hybrid WAN — but instead is meant to ensure consistent end-user experience across your complete infrastructure — LAN, WAN, and cloud. Software-defined control integrates with end-user visibility and application acceleration for unmatched performance across the hybrid network.
  2. It does not leverage tedious and error-prone management approaches. In the words of Brandon Carroll, an industry expert and CEO of Global Config Technology Solutions, Inc., Riverbed SteelConnect™ for SD-WAN is “very simple yet very powerful.”

While the Riverbed solution is fairly easy to implement, if you would like expert assistance on making the transition, Riverbed offers services for SD-WAN implementation as well.

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Editor’s note: Akshay Kakar, SteelConnect Product Manager at Riverbed, contributed to this article. See his blog posts for more insights on the Riverbed SteelConnect SD-WAN solution.