IT Charts a New Remote Office Course With SD-WAN
by August 11, 2017

Filed under: Industry Insights, Networking Technology

More healthcare organizations are discovering SD-WAN technology for help managing their many remote locations. It makes a lot of sense—in many ways, healthcare businesses like hospitals and home healthcare facilities are the poster children of the challenges of modern networking. Each remote office or location needs high-performing networks and applications, and most don’t have IT teams on site. We’ve heard from our healthcare customers that application ownership and fast growth can be challenging, too. One big sticking point may be cost, though, as SD-WAN can be expensive and require a lot of network management and planning conversations. Healthcare companies, just like businesses in most industries, are figuring out the best path forward in this cloud-driven world.

On the SD-WAN and remote location topic, here’s a wrapup of the overall changes in branch office management these days. One useful development for IT is a new kind of security model, where branch offices may use one type of security solution at the edge, while the main data center uses the traditional firewall and other security measures. Other trends include businesses adding a second internet circuit at remote offices, and carrier-neutral colocations that allow businesses to access delivery points to the cloud. And, of course, right up our alley is the note that new types of monitoring are keeping up with these new network models.

The security point is essential for remote network management. One recent survey found that 61% of respondents say network blind spots get in the way of proper data protection. 41% of those respondents don’t have the information they need to detect threats. And 67% of respondents say they haven’t scaled monitoring and security to keep up with data volume. Lack of visibility has been a big downside for IT as SaaS and cloud applications have emerged. Beyond being an annoyance and slowing down troubleshooting, it’s clearly harmful to network infrastructures. Other issues are that network ops and security ops teams are accessing different data, and nearly half of respondents saying they don’t actually know what’s being encrypted on the network. Clearly, enterprise IT needs to see more clearly.

Managing multiple vendors these days can bring a lot of headaches. Here are tips on how to manage hybrid cloud vendors, with the “hybrid” here referring to the mix of SaaS apps, on-premises software and storage and other tools powering modern infrastructures. Advice includes knowing what applications and tools are actually in use across the organization, connecting business needs with vendors and avoiding duplicate costs, among others. Complexity in IT doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.