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Add Serious Muscle to Your SaaS Applications

Optimising Your Business Wide Area Network for SaaS

Increase Productivity with WAN Optimisation

IT departments used to be strictly cost centres for enterprise businesses. Now, savvy IT leaders are finding an increasing number of ways to create value. This is on display with the adoption of SaaS applications like Office 365, Box and Salesforce. These applications replace the old model of capital investment in licenced software, with a pay-as-you-go OPEX model that can scale up and down with business growth.

However, the rush to implement these SaaS solutions, to increase productivity, has resulted in even more strain on already overworked wide area networks (WANs). We used to be limited by business software functionality and computer power when it came to business applications. With the mind-blowing power of modern computers and the versatility of SaaS applications, we are now often limited only by the WAN.

Network availability and bandwidth are finite resources for businesses - and for IT leaders the struggle to increase or decrease capacity is a constant ordeal. For businesses with dynamic growth or seasonal demand spikes, it is essential that IT teams squeeze every last bit of efficiency out of their WAN.

And in most cases, there is a lot to squeeze.

While the explosion of SaaS applications has been at the forefront of technology innovation, WANs have often remained relatively unchanged in the last ten years. Therefore it’s not surprising that A) they are often slow and inefficient and B) leave a lot of room for innovation and optimisation.

It is easy to see why they are ignored. Most employees don’t give them a second thought unless they go down and if everyone at a company with 10,000 employees suddenly starts using more applications over the WAN, there is a real danger they may fail. The good news is there are modern tools and processes available to assess and optimise corporate WANs that can ensure maximum efficiency - as well as ways to transparently monitor and adjust your WAN capacity.

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Slow SaaS applications can compound productivity issues. If a WAN has been attended to sporadically or only managed in terms of hardware maintenance, chances are it is slow and this means operations suffer. When employees struggle to complete basic tasks like email or file sharing, it makes for a very long day at the office. When you include remote teams or a dramatic increase in the number of branch offices, things can grind to a complete halt as available bandwidth dries up. It is for this reason that providers have begun to offer WAN optimisation as a distinct service. The assessment phase can quickly measure load issues, network availability and unlock considerable bandwidth that can be used to grow the business. It all adds up to value unlocked, costs reduced and an increase in productivity as employees can focus on getting things done, instead of waiting for things to load.

An optimised WAN is a transparent, easy-to-fix, easy-to-expand WAN. Once a team of certified WAN experts maps out your WAN and makes recommendations that’s not the end of the process. Leading service providers offer customer portals so you can see your WAN operation in action, receive alerts and quickly get to the bottom of issues before they impact the business. In some cases proactive management is available which means you may log into your customer portal only to find that your service provider has already discovered an issue and begun the process of addressing it before you even knew the problem existed. It is this managed transparency that empowers businesses to confidently adopt SaaS and turn on new services strategically and reduce the risk to business continuity. It also saves the business money and allows it to grow.

Today’s IT leaders are required to do more than just account for their costs. More and more they are expected to create value. WAN optimisation improves efficiency, lowers risks to business continuity and lowers costs related to network and IT management. Talk to your service provider about WAN optimisation today for a quick win for your business’s productivity.

(October, 2016)