Reducing expenses and improving efficiency are two areas of focus for businesses everywhere, especially as inflation continues to edge higher and recession fears loom.
For those organizations looking to reduce their technology expenses and improve efficiency, a software-defined area network (SD-WAN) might be the answer.
SD-WAN technology enables businesses to manage their network traffic more efficiently by prioritizing certain types of traffic — such as voice or video — over other types of traffic, including email or web browsing. Additionally, business SD-WAN can allow organizations to use less expensive internet connections for certain types of traffic.
As more companies rely on the cloud to support work-from-anywhere staff, SD-WAN is their network solution. A recent study shows 79% of organizations use SD-WAN solutions, and that number is expected to rise to 92% by 2026.
But as SD-WAN returns to the technology budget radar, businesses both big and small should be aware of both the benefits and costs. We’re breaking down details about SD-WAN and how a technology expense management audit can help assist with your fiscally-mindful SD-WAN journey.
Understanding Your Connection: What Makes SD-WAN Technology Different?
In many businesses, a common method of constructing connections between local area networks (LAN) is to use multiprotocol label switching (MPLS). While this method works and is common practice, it takes significant time to set up, can be expensive, and requires a contracted service from a telecommunications or carrier company. Although the use of MPLS has declined in recent years, it’s still relied on by many.
But with the global SD-WAN market estimated to be over $66 billion by 2032, experts indicate a shift to a business-driven SD-WAN platform is becoming the norm. By unifying SD-WAN, routing, firewall, WAN optimization, segmentation, visibility, and control functions in a single and centrally managed platform, business SD-WAN delivers more responsive, more predictable applications at lower costs and in less time.
In addition, because SD-WAN connects LANs using software, not hardware, the technology does not require any specialized equipment for routing, and operates via the internet, making it cheaper to implement than MPLS connections. An added benefit allows businesses to be in control of deciding what type of web traffic to prioritize, allowing for their specific needs to be met.
Biggest Benefits of SD-WANs and Words of Caution
While understanding the differences between MPLS and SD-WANs is important, capitalizing on the value of SD-WANs is key for businesses to profit.
Words of caution: Many SD-WANs do not include integrated security, resulting in the need for additional security products, which could add costs. To ensure your business is optimizing its technology usage while also reducing expenses, a technology expense audit is generally recommended to catch service costs you might miss.
Technology Expense Management (TEM) + SD-WAN = Savings
As with any budget, it’s important to identify areas that can be adjusted to save additional funds. Through a personalized technology expense management audit, business leaders can identify and reduce costs by working with professionals who know how to scrutinize existing expenses and find cost-saving opportunities.
A TEM audit from industry-leading experts at SpyGlass is an important first step to monitoring SD-WAN and all tech services to help identify areas to save costs by reducing and optimizing technology expenses.
For example, an audit may:
➡️ Reveal an organization is paying for services that are no longer being used
➡️ Provide insight into better deals available from other providers
➡️ Uncover excess tech service features and redundant services
➡️ Discover excessive PRI (Primary Rate Interface) fees
➡️ Find improper tax and tariff applications
By identifying these areas, companies can make more informed decisions about their technology expenses and ensure they are getting the best value for their money.
Taking SD-WAN capabilities into consideration, along with a technology management expense audit, significant savings can be identified for any business. To start a technology expense audit, expect to:
- Submit technology expenses/bills
- Meet with audit professionals to review potential savings opportunities
- Move forward with personalized recommendations for tech service savings
As business needs change along with the global economic climate, optimizing technology service expenses and improving efficiency are two ways leadership can ensure high performance while protecting the bottom line. Understanding where your tech spend is going or will go, helps ensure that expenses stay manageable and predictable. SD-WAN technology — along with a tech spend audit — can help position your business for continued success.