Much like roads and railways, hospitals and schools, WANs have traditionally been built to meet particular needs, and then developed very slowly, over months or years. In common with their major infrastructure counterparts in wider society, WANs typically demand very significant investment, as well as long term commitment of financial and human resources.
Given such characteristics, it’s not surprising that the focus in WAN infrastructure management has been much more on keeping services running than on swift response to business needs as they arise. That’s in stark contrast to most other areas of IT. Over the past twenty years we’ve seen the rise of the Cloud, mobile devices, email, video conferencing, all manner of offerings “as a service” and, underpinning it all, the Internet itself. The IT backdrop to business in the late 2010s is radically different to that of the late 1990s, when MPLS was introduced. But the WAN plods on, largely unchanged, out of sight and out of mind.
To be successful, businesses need to be nimble and agile, responding quickly as needs and opportunities change.
With all aspects of business ever more dependent on IT services, it’s time to retire the old, static, inflexible WAN infrastructure, replacing it with a responsive, agile and scalable business communications tool fit for today’s needs.