The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the major influencing trends in the digital transformation of the global economy.
In fact, worldwide demand for IoT technologies continues to climb, with data and analytics company GlobalData projecting that the global market for IoT-enabling software, hardware, and services will reach $318 billion (USD) by 2023 – more than double the estimated $130 billion in 2018.
Cost-effective, secure, and manageable connectivity is the foundation of IoT adoption, but as IDC reports, traditional WANs are too costly and complex to support the new apps and IoT devices popping up at remote business sites.
As a result, enterprises are now deploying Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solutions for greater network flexibility, security, and ease of use.
The SD-WAN is a software-based technology that is especially useful for connecting remote locations to a distributed enterprise network.
SD-WANs at the edge of existing networks operate as a network overlay, enabling remote sites to consolidate multiple network functions and applications over low-cost broadband connections.
Because they are software-based, SD-WANs reduce the number of network devices and connections needed at each site, significantly lowering network complexity and costs.
Moreover, these SD-WANs can be remotely customised and reconfigured via software to quickly adapt to changing business needs and to make ongoing system updates.
Similarly, SD-WANs can be delivered as a cloud-based managed service, which simplifies enterprise-wide implementation and eliminates the need for IT departments to maintain their own SD-WAN data centres.
This results in very fast time-to-execution for initial installations, as well as future upgrades, and it can all be done at web scale with the lowest possible cost.
These are critical business advantages for enterprises making strategic investments in the IoT world.
Given the expected ubiquitous deployment of IoT devices – there could be as many as 21.5 billion active IoT connections by 2025 – organisations must be able to affordably deliver and centrally manage their networks.
Designed to address these unique requirements, SD-WANs are ideally suited for IoT deployments, and that’s even before examining the key issue of security.
The impact of IoT on the SD-WAN market will be significant.
According to IDC, spending on SD-WAN infrastructure will reach $4.5 billion (USD) by 2022, when the SD-WAN managed services market will be worth $5.4 billion.
In the same research report, IDC reveals that 82% of enterprise survey respondents would use SD-WAN at some point, with 75% saying they were already using it or would be within two years.
Together, SD-WAN and IoT offer organisations a strategic roadmap to the future, where they can exploit the opportunities of a world where everything is connected while retaining the high levels of management control and security that are so critical for business success.