Enterprises and government agencies are tapping into the potential for the Internet of Things (IoT) to revolutionize business processes. From smart cities to increasingly digitized companies, IoT helps improve efficiency, reduces cost, and improve accuracy in data collection. As enterprises increasingly adopt IoT strategies, the need for software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) becomes more clear.
Manufacturing and health care are the two industries most heavily utilizing IoT technology. Items and tools are equipped with sensors that send data, recording with accuracy the speed and usage of a machine, as well as any errors or failures. In health care, devices can gather important information that not only informs care for a specific patient but may also detect patterns that lead to better care and outcomes in the future.
Despite the obvious benefits of implementing “smart” devices into both business and health care, IoT strategies introduce some new challenges for network management. The introduction of new devices means adding endpoints and all the security vulnerabilities that go along with additional access. In addition, many networks are not equipped to handle the bandwidth demand that comes with a fleet of devices all transmitting data to and from cloud solutions.
There are several reasons any enterprise implementing an IoT strategy needs to upgrade to SD-WAN:
Traffic Segmentation and Prioritization: SD-WAN allows network administrators to segment traffic based on device, application, or user, and then prioritize it according to its critical nature. In cases of health care devices, this prioritization may be particularly important. For instance, readings on a heart monitor will be transmitted at a higher priority than an employee downloading YouTube videos to show coworkers.
Improved Visibility and Control: SD-WAN provides a virtual overlay that is separate from the physical network. This allows for better control and visibility over network management and performance.
Maximizing Bandwidth at Reduced Costs: The increased demand on the network with an IoT strategy generally means that bandwidth costs will increase. Enterprises using SD-WAN are vendor agnostic, meaning they can utilize different connectivity options based on their need for various factors such as performance, reliability, and latency. Organizations that have previously been locked in with multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) lines can now utilize a lower-cost alternative when reliability or performance is less critical.
Improved Security: SD-WAN’s segmentation capabilities mean if there’s a lost or stolen device, that device can be isolated while the issue is resolved, preventing any impact to the rest of the network. Most SD-WAN solutions also offer end-to-end encryption.
If your enterprise is considering deploying an army of IoT devices, contact us at AMD Communications. We can help you choose the right SD-WAN solution that offers the management features you need while also supporting your security goals.