Journey to the Future Enterprise for Asia Businesses

Turbocharge growth in the hyperconnected and digital-first era with Hybrid SD-WAN

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The world is moving towards digital first. In this world, customers, workforce and partners are connected digitally. In this economy, hyperconnected and future enterprises thrive.

This is also an IDC’s vision of future enterprises—businesses thrive in the digital-first market through building a digital infrastructure to enable intelligence and empower a connected workforce.

After being stagnant for two years from the pandemic, many Asia businesses are eager to leverage the accelerated digitalisation and recovering economy to embark on the journey to being the future enterprises.

Digital deadlock for Asia businesses

Nevertheless, according to IDC, many found themselves stuck in a digital deadlock in this journey. The research firm noted as much as 82% of organisations in Asia Pacific found the static nature of legacy networks as one of the reasons. The legacy network architecture, like MPLS in combination with traditional WAN routers, and regional internet breakout, was designed for a different era when operations were contained within offices, traffic flows were predictable, combining network technologies was more difficult, and alternatives were less stable.  Businesses and technologies have evolved; and companies are looking for the scalability and flexibility required to cope with their increasingly distributed operations.

In the digital-first era, businesses are operating beyond the headquarter and regional or branch offices. After the pandemic, the size of mobile workforce has increased significantly. Businesses are also connecting with their customers over social media, deploying more edge computing locations, and relying more on cloud services.

IDC indicated that 60% of organisations in the region are going to continue investing in the cloud in the next 12-18 months. This hyperconnected multi-cloud operation means businesses are demanding bandwidth like never before. These hyperconnected activities also mean businesses are increasing their exposure to potential threats.

Yet, only 27% of Asia businesses indicated their enterprise networks are well equipped to reap the benefits of their cloud investments. Networks designed for the previous era can create inefficient multi-cloud access, and a digital deadlock, restricting businesses to grow and compete.

Network transformation with Hybrid SD-WAN Approach

Asia businesses need to transform their network architecture in collaboration with their digitisation strategy. Many are turning towards software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). By applying virtualisation technology, SD-WAN decouples the networking hardware from its control plane and simplifies the management of a WAN.

SD-WAN acts as an overlay engine to navigate routing directions and turbocharge network performance. Thus, it is not surprising that IDC found 71% of businesses in Asia Pacific are turning to SD-WAN within 2022 to support their digital-first operations.

However, simply relying on a turbo engine is not enough. If a car represents the overlay packet routing SD-WAN technology, the road condition could still affect its speed, regardless of the engine’s power and intelligence. If the road is too long, bumpy, or congested, the car may still delay its arrival at the destination.

This is when a hybrid SD-WAN approach becomes important. By combining the overlay intelligence with reliable underlay Internet and IPVPN networks, the hybrid SD-WAN approach offers greater application performance, flexibility, network security, centralised control, and cost savings.

Turbocharging network performance and Asia businesses

Aiming to provide the best hybrid SD-WAN approach in the market, Telstra is combining its recognised reliable underlay network with the industry-leading VMware SD-WAN overlay engine.

This combination of hybrid SD-WAN approach is revealing results for many businesses in the region, one of them being a Hong Kong-based jewellery franchise. It had an aggressive plan to deploy 4,000 sites in China within six months. The hybrid SD-WAN approach did not only help it to expand successfully but also provided 10 times more bandwidth at 50% of the original cost.

Another example is a Taiwanese shipping company. To enable its digital transformation initiatives and enhanced cloud applications performance, it turned towards Telstra and VMware for a hybrid SD-WAN approach. The company deployed the overlay SD-WAN across 47 sites in Asia, including China, with the underlay Internet and MPLS networks, all within only two months. The result? A boost to network performance without a bomb to the annual networking cost.

These successes demonstrate that SD-WAN is a proven networking technology. But devils are often found in the details, particularly when redesigning and implementing the new network architecture.

To put the vision of hybrid SD-WAN into practice in your environment requires skillsets to customise network design, experiences with implementation, and business know-how for your unique requirements. But such skillsets and experiences are often hard to find internally. This is likely the reason why the SD-WAN adoption does not necessarily reflect successful legacy WAN transformation.

Your business environment is unique, and so is your network transformation. Start working with your local network partner to assess, review and design your hybrid SD-WAN approach to create your version of future enterprise.

To learn more about the value of Hybrid SD-WAN Approach for your business, download a copy of the IDC InfoBrief here.