Cisco SD-WAN customers on track for 402% 5-year ROI: Read why

Not the usual cast of characters

Investing in network infrastructure is not just about the bottom line and capital expenses anymore. Every department leader now believes they have a strategic stake in the network’s potential to enable their strategies.

Why?  Because they’ve seen other organizations not only reducing costs, but also driving new revenues, speeding times to market, and setting up new stores in a fraction of the time it once took.

It all started one day when someone at the virtual water cooler mentioned something about plans to upgrade the network infrastructure. ‘I need to be in that meeting.’ ‘Yes, and please add someone from my team as well.’  Then the email meeting invites snowballed until the meeting originally meant for two morphed into twenty. The meeting started looking more like a ‘who’s who on the org chart’ party. And everyone shared their own interest.

CISO says securing a remote workforce is adding new risks with potentially bigger impacts. AppOps leader wants to provide a better work experience for their hybrid workforce, while CloudOps team reports that optimizing the company’s data across multiple cloud providers is making them lose visibility when they are trying to troubleshoot issues. Meanwhile, NetOps is trying to discover how they want to use AI and automation to reduce MTTI (mean time to innocence, formerly MTTR.)

But it’s not just IT. CMO wants to know how the network will enable better customer engagement. Finance is looking at network infrastructure less like a cost center and more like a revenue-generating machine.  Leaders from Supply Chain, Human Resources, Workplace Resources, etc., etc…is there any area of the business the network doesn’t touch anymore?

IDC research predicts a 402% five-year ROI from Cisco SD-WAN

In new research, reputable third-party analyst firm IDC conducted in-depth interviews with eight Cisco SD-WAN customers. In this white paper, sponsored by Cisco, The Business Value of Cisco SD-WAN, customers provided both qualitative and quantitative benefits they are experiencing, and IDC leveraged that data to project the average ROI (return on investment) that these organizations should expect over a five-year period.

In this study, it’s all here: network performance, cost of WAN connectivity, network management staff impacts, unplanned downtime, help desk, and troubleshooting impacts, and much more. The study is also filled with direct quotes from these customers. Hear straight from them how their network infrastructure is changing how they enable their strategies.

Here’s just one example of what our customers are saying:

Accelerate time to market, leading to more revenue — APAC retail: “Because we can put up sites a lot quicker, we can generate more revenue. We can put up a new site in days instead of weeks, for example. It could be six weeks while you try and get a physical internet connection. With SD-WAN, you can quickly have a 4G connection in the device, so we get revenue for those weeks, possibly an addition of millions of dollars.”

Enclosed you’ll also find impressive tables and charts—ones your team can leverage to build your own business case to upgrade your infrastructure. But one stat that would make any CFO do a double-take is that Cisco SD-WAN customers in this study can expect an average of 402% ROI over the next five years. That’s not a typo. 402%! And IDC breaks down the methodology they used to calculate it—every last input.

IDC calculates Cisco SD-WAN ROI over 5-year period
Figure 1: IDC calculates Cisco SD-WAN ROI over a 5-year period

The bottom line is that with each of these customers, their investments in SD-WAN are repaying them in dividends.

If you’re thinking SASE and cloud applications, think SD-WAN first

As you consider your own SD-WAN strategy, consider the critical role that SD-WAN plays in a SASE architecture.  Cisco SD-WAN is foundational to SASE and enhances the quality of the application and user experience by enabling traffic steering and dynamic failover, resulting in greater enterprise productivity and agility within a SASE architecture.

A key consideration for customers while implementing a SASE architecture is addressing the requirement of an exceptional user and application experience. SD-WAN, a core component of this architecture, enables the quality of experience by intelligent network selection. In the hybrid workforce world, application performance is a key focus for many enterprises as it drives employee and ecosystem productivity, and customer satisfaction.

With the increase in cloud adoption, the first thing users want is access to their SaaS cloud business applications, and the network needs to deliver the most optimized path. That is where SD-WAN plays a crucial role. And because security inspection is critical—before traffic is even routed, SD-WAN determines if it is from a trusted application or not.  If the traffic is from an untrusted application, SD-WAN can steer it to a Secure Internet Gateway.

Building your business case for upgrading to SD-WAN

Considering upgrading your WAN infrastructure? Think about your invite list first and if there’s anyone new who should be at the table. Then share these resources with them as you rethink what’s possible to get the most out of your network investment.