I remember last year having long conversations with a friend of mine, on the convenience of moving to electric cars to reduce the monthly cost on fuel and the need for zero emissions. I met my friend recently and he told me he is now been driving an electric car for three months. After asking about his experience, to my surprise, he didn’t mention the fuel savings once! It was all around (commuting), the quiet engine, the low maintenance. Didn’t he experience cost savings? Yes he did, but his priorities have changed after using the electric car for a while.
Something similar happens with SD-WAN. Many enterprises are attracted by the promise of huge cost savings by SD WAN compared to MPLS. After a quick analysis of their traffic and some financial modeling, enterprises easily find a way to justify the transformation towards SD-WAN. However, those enterprises that have used SD-WAN for a while, are valuing different aspects.
A recent qualitative survey among enterprises, conducted by PwC in collaboration with Juniper Networks showed the following results:
Among respondents planning to adopt, the cost of traditional WAN solutions was cited as the most important driver for SD-WAN adoption. However, among those who have already adopted SD-WAN, increased flexibility was cited as most important, and the cost diver was falling to the third position.
This is a key aspect to take in consideration by Service Providers offering managed SD-WAN services. Their value proposition should articulate all the benefits that should drive the adoption of SD-WAN. Starting with a cost saving approach will fall short in the long run. The SD-WAN platform must provide flexibility to deliver new services, and complete automation for the deployment.
It is too late for my friend to rethink the most suitable electric car for him, but most Service Providers can still consider the right requirements for their SD-WAN services.