Businesses need to understand the full scope of any significant investment opportunity, and return on investment (ROI) analysis can be a very useful tool to achieve this. Critical decisions such as digital transformation using a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) are no exception. In the crowded SD-WAN market, infrastructure leaders validate multiple solutions to determine the one that best suits their needs. While core competencies have a huge impact on them, in most cases ROI takes precedence over decision making.
So how do you determine the true ROI of an SD-WAN solution to justify the investment while ensuring they are buying the right SD-WAN solution that delivers the best business outcomes?
SD-WAN has transformed networks worldwide
A software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is a networking service that connects and extends enterprise networks over large geographic distances. It enables organizations to migrate to a distributed network architecture by utilizing multiple types of WAN links to connect branch offices to applications. Traditional SD-WAN products focus on enabling Internet broadband-based data center connectivity.
As cloud adoption, branch consolidation, and migration to Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) accelerate, next-generation SD-WAN is required. In addition to ensuring their SD-WAN solutions deliver a superior user experience for all applications, simplify operations through seamless integration, and deliver improved security outcomes, organizations need to know how they can future-proof their investments. Our joint effort with Forrester Consulting now allows enterprises to determine their absolute ROI using SD-WAN.
SD-WAN True ROI
Palo Alto Networks Prisma SD-WAN is the industry’s only next-generation SD-WAN that is autonomous, integrated and secure. With Forrester Consulting’s Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study, businesses can understand the qualitative and quantitative benefits of Prisma SD-WAN.
Forrester interviewed Palo Alto Networks stakeholders and customers to gather SD-WAN-related data. Forrester interviewed five decision makers in organizations using Palo Alto Networks Prisma SD-WAN and used the TEI methodology to construct a financial model for interviews with representatives, which resulted in the following revenue streams for these businesses:
Businesses with distributed branch offices and remote locations can now enable appropriate connectivity redundancy and Failover to provide consistent connectivity. SD-WAN solutions are increasingly integrating network operations at the WAN edge and LAN to reduce branch infrastructure sprawl, cost and operational complexity.
Efficiency of remote site management: SD-WAN via centralized A smart console, end-to-end visibility into application and network performance, and AIOps-enabled analytics provide simplified management. Leveraging AI/ML technologies for operations ensures IT staff can quickly identify and resolve issues, increasing productivity. Implementation and Deployment Costs: Businesses experience disruptions frequently and performance degradation due to limited application SLAs and smart business policies. SD-WAN can automatically update policies over the network, eliminating any significant delays or roadblocks. At the same time, zero-touch deployment enables seamless addition of new branches at scale, reducing time and streamlining and streamlining any change management process. Integrating Branch Services: The IT team keeps adding new Branch services and tools to enable newer innovations in cloud connectivity, security and operations. This in turn requires them to plan for downtime and upgrade cycles across branch offices, data centers and clouds to manage these services. SD-WAN revolutionizes this process by automating such integrations without any service interruption. Adding new services is a one-click deployment, not a large IT team that takes longer integration cycles.
Know your SD-WAN savings
SD-WAN can dramatically simplify operations and improve security outcomes while delivering a superior user experience. Large corporations have branches all over the world and are expanding through acquisitions and mergers, which diversifies their infrastructure and negatively impacts ROI.
Prisma SD-WAN’s cloud-delivered model enables large-scale branch office transformation through automation and saves up to 267% ROI over 3 years and achieve 97% reduction in WAN hardware and connectivity costs (assuming 50,000 – 100,000 employees, 50% remote workers and 2,500 branch offices) . Realizing they can get the most out of a next-generation SD-WAN solution can accelerate their digital transformation efforts while keeping their investments obsolete. A good example is Salesforce.com, which selected Prisma SD-WAN, the industry’s first next-generation SD-WAN solution.
To understand what SD-WAN can offer, Forrester built an interactive SD-WAN ROI calculator based on models from related research and according to Forrester and TEI standards. By answering a few simple questions, any organization can understand the financial benefits of adopting an SD-WAN architecture.
Sutapa Bansal is Director of Product Management at Palo Alto Networks. She is obsessed with clients and has extensive experience with leading AI/ML and cloud products.