Elevating ESG Performance: Unleashing Potential Through the Adoption of SD-WAN

Unleashing the potential of SD-WAN can elevate your organisation's ESG Performance

When organisations seek ways to enhance their sustainability efforts and reduce their carbon footprint, many default to traditional strategies like incentivising travel schemes for employees and improving workplace recycling facilities. While these are undoubtedly positive steps, the potential of investing in digital innovation and connectivity to drive improved environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance is often underestimated.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of digital innovation, it's imperative to recognise the impact technology and connectivity have on our environmental footprint. The presence of outdated legacy networks can often act as a barrier to efficiency. While many organisations are investing in modern technology and hardware, without corresponding network transformations, the true potential of these investments remains untapped. Migrating to advanced networking solutions that leverage sustainable methods and utilise modern network technologies, such as SD-WAN is crucial.

The traditional Wide-Area Network (WAN) primarily serves to connect users with applications connected via a physical centralised data centre. This method relies heavily on hardware-based network devices and Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) for efficient network traffic flow. While suitable for certain organisations, there are disadvantages. For example, they can be costly to implement given their reliance on dedicated circuits and leased lines. Furthermore, scalability is limited as organisations expand, owing to their dependence on physical hardware. This model is also not fully suited to the increasingly cloud-centred world we are quickly transitioning into.

Embracing a digital-first approach to operations, organisations are increasingly recognising SD-WAN as the optimal connectivity solution. SD-WANs software-defined approach to managing WANs empowers cloud-first enterprises to deliver superior application-focused Quality of Experience (QoS) for users. It can also effectively manage diverse connection types, including broadband internet, 4G/5G LTE, and MPLS, all within a single remote server. Importantly, it can dynamically move application traffic to the most suitable available connection, avoiding the tendency to funnel different applications down the same path.

This dynamic process begins by first identifying and categorising applications based on priority, quality of experience, and security policies. It then employs application-aware routing across all available connections to direct the specific application’s network traffic over the appropriate transport. The outcome is an increase in network capacity, thereby improving the end-user experience while conserving energy resources.

This presents a spectrum of ESG-related advantages, including reduced energy consumption and hardware footprint. By augmenting bandwidth and optimising network traffic, without necessitating new hardware investments, the end-user experience is enhanced, and network efficiency optimised. Transitioning to a cloud-first network through SD-WAN can be up to 95% more efficient than physical data centres, again helping to advance critical business metrics. Additionally, this advanced cloud optimisation removes the need to invest in hardware, reducing the demand for environmentally unfriendly materials. Notably, it empowers organisations to digitise operations and introduce more sustainable services.

When compared to older platforms like MPLS, the power consumption of SD-WAN is estimated to decrease threefold when factors such as installation and delivery time are considered. The uniformity of SD-WAN across remote locations also eliminates the need for manual configuration changes, helping to streamline business operations and troubleshoot from a single remote, central location.

For most enterprises, SD-WAN represents a transitional solution during their network refresh, cloud adoption, and digital transformation journey. Yet, it's undeniable that SD-WAN is undergoing a transformative phase. We anticipate a significant surge in organisations seamlessly transitioning to this network technology, reaping the benefits of both improved business performance and enhanced ESG outcomes.


24 August 2023