Maximizing ROI With SD-WAN

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Maximizing ROI is a critical element of business success. Balancing immediate financial gains with broader perspectives on corporate culture, hybrid work arrangements, and diversity initiatives can help maintain company morale and unlock long-term growth potential.

One area of explicit savings is from right-sizing circuits at a site, which eliminates the need for expensive backup circuits that are rarely used. Using a TEM provider with transparent billing and access to providers’ dispute channels can further improve these cost savings.

Cost Savings

Achieving the ROI of SD-WAN requires a full understanding of how it reduces network costs and delivers on its promise of improving application performance. For example, many vendors promoting SD-WAN point to eliminating MPLS circuit costs, but this is only one of several areas of cost savings with the solution.

Other areas of savings include:

  • Eliminating costly plain old telephone service (POTS) lines.
  • Reducing the number of private MPLS connections.
  • Moving to less expensive broadband Internet connectivity for both data and voice.

Moreover, leveraging policy-based routing, SD-WAN can dynamically select the best path for traffic, thereby eliminating the trombone effect and improving last-mile performance for mobile users and cloud services.

Then, IT management costs are associated with deploying, updating, and managing multiple-point solutions across a distributed network. An SD-WAN solution’s centralized control and automated management features reduce these costs by simplifying and speeding up deployments, updates, and troubleshooting.

In addition, SD-WAN offers various ways to reduce IT costs further, such as by right-sizing circuits and reducing the number of costly backup connections that are rarely used. Lastly, an SD-WAN with built-in link-bonding can improve last-mile resilience by aggregating available Internet bandwidth to increase uptime and eliminate the need for costly private WAN links to sites in remote locations.


It’s challenging to quantify all of the direct financial benefits of SD-WAN – especially when it comes to savings related to reduced operational costs and streamlined management.

The scalability of SD-WAN helps to reduce overall operating costs. This is because it enables remote sites to use broadband internet for network connectivity, usually more than 90 percent less expensive than MPLS circuits and backhauling traffic to the data center. In addition, a single secure tunnel to the cloud enables users and applications to access cloud services directly. This eliminates the need to backhaul traffic across the WAN, which reduces latency and jitter.

Additionally, a zero-touch deployment enables businesses to add new branches much faster than traditional networks. This translates into quicker ROI and more agility. ZPE Systems’ vendor-neutral branch networking solution, Nodegrid, combines SD-WAN, branch network architecture, routing, and built-in LTE connectivity into a single platform.

The ROI benefits of SD-WAN will vary depending on the business’s unique environment. Still, most companies can expect significant cost savings within three years of deploying an integrated solution. The best way to understand the ROI potential of an SD-WAN solution is to compare it with your current costs.


Employees and customers increasingly work from remote locations, on various devices (home laptops, 5G mobile), and utilize external cloud and internet-centric services, so they must have uninterrupted digital experiences. Unfortunately, this often isn’t possible without proper network architecture and adequate monitoring capabilities.

SD-WAN can help improve applications’ performance by separating the control and data forwarding planes, making it much easier to scale and manage the networking hardware. The ability to optimize traffic on-demand based on the application’s needs helps IT teams reduce latency, jitter, and packet loss, which increases users’ productivity, experience, and satisfaction.

The centralized management of all WAN branch routers through an orchestration platform also simplifies IT operations. The platform can be a single device in a data center, an on-prem appliance, or an IT service provider offering a SaaS solution.

The zero-touch provisioning of the SD-WAN appliances also helps IT streamline deployments and configuration processes, saving time and resources. Integrating with existing WAN connections—such as MPLS, VPNs, or broadband Internet—also helps organizations lower costs by eliminating the need for dedicated circuits. In addition, transport independence offers greater flexibility in sizing WAN networks and selecting the best underlying connectivity options.


SD-WAN offers a wide range of security measures that help to reduce the risk of malicious attacks and protect sensitive data. These include securing the activation process, encrypting management traffic, and physically securing devices. In addition, the solution should be able to monitor the network and provide continuous threat detection and response. It should also integrate with existing security infrastructure, such as NGFW, ZTNA, SWG, and CASB, to simplify the security landscape and improve efficiency.

Unlike traditional MPLS, an SD-WAN can route traffic to the best available path, improving application performance and user experience. It can also automatically detect and redirect traffic based on priority and service quality, which helps optimize bandwidth and minimize costs. In addition, it can offer a low-touch or no-touch deployment model and automate the process of configuring new hardware.

To ensure the security of SD-WAN, it is important to choose a solution that encrypts data in transit and at rest. In addition, the offering should support an enterprise-grade key management option that enables IT teams to retain keys in their secure environment, even if the service incorporates provider cloud components. The solution should also include robust logging and alerting capabilities that allow IT teams to identify issues and take action quickly. It should also support integrated firewalls that provide unified threat management, making deploying and managing the technology easier.