SD-WAN Adoption vs. MPLS Expansion. What Does the Future Hold?


Evolution within the technology industry is inevitable and companies must respond appropriately to changes if they want to improve their efficiency and remain competitive. Many organizations are now deciding to adopt SD-WAN as their primary corporate network choice instead of (or in conjunction with) MPLS.  

The migration from private MPLS networks to Internet SD-WAN does have its benefits. However, this does not necessarily mean it is the end for MPLS. Companies are still heavily investing in their MPLS expansions too. So, what does the future hold for these business network solutions?  

SD-WAN Adoption

SD-WAN adoption is increasing at an impressive rate among organizations, and it will continue to do so in the future. And it’s not hard to see why! SD-WAN’s benefits include improved network resiliency as well as better application performance (even in complex networking environments). Plus, SD-WAN offers companies the potential for substantial cost savings!

Most technology directors say they plan to use SD-WAN within their organization by the end of 2019. However, the big wave of SD-WAN disruption is still yet to come. Larger companies tend to adopt new technologies at a slower pace. Currently, the RDI of SD-WAN adoption for companies with $1 million to $10 million in revenue is at 16%, while organizations with revenues greater than $1 billion are half that at 8%.

In the future, we will continue to see more businesses jump on the SD-WAN bandwagon. Some of the industries most likely to partake in SD-WAN adoption next include financial services ($1-$10 million in revenue), manufacturing ($10-$100 million in revenue), and healthcare ($10-$100 million in revenue).  

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MPLS Expansion

It is well-known that MPLS offers companies excellent service when it comes to the reliability of delivering packets, avoiding packet loss, and keeping traffic flowing. Some companies that are implementing SD-WAN are using it in conjunction with their current MPLS services (rather than replacing it entirely).

In a recent survey, 40% of organizations that are familiar with or use MPLS say that they plan to continue to invest in their MPLS network infrastructure. According to the survey, 52% of the E-commerce industry, 51% of the financial services industry, and 46% of the manufacturing industry all plan on MPLS expansion in 2019. 

In the future, larger organizations will continue to make substantial investments in their MPLS infrastructure including but not limited to: firewalls, routers, and depreciating SDN equipment. Fifty-three percent of businesses making more than $1 billion plan to make significant MPLS investments in 2019, while only 26% of companies with $1 to $10 million in revenue are planning on doing the same. The top industries expected to participate in further MPLS expansion include financial services ($100 million-$1 billion in revenue), manufacturing ($100 million-$1 billion in revenue), and retail ($100 million-$1 billion in revenue).             

Which Network Solution is Best for The Future of Your Company?

Digitally transforming your business is a process. Many factors need to be taken into consideration as you decide whether SD-WAN, MPLS, or a combination of both is best for your organization. With over 23 years of experience, The Cloud Truth can guide you through the constantly changing technology industry to help you find the best solutions for your company.

Tim Conti

Tim Conti has over 23 years experience in the technology field working for industry leaders MCI, Nortel Networks, CDW, Shoretel, and 8x8. Tim graduated from the J. Warren McClure School of Communications Systems Management and received his MBA both from Ohio University. Over his 23 year career, Tim has helped his Customers navigate through disruption and constant change in the technology industry Frame Relay to MPLS, MPLS to IP, and the "Cloud."

Since 2005, Tim has worked exclusively in the UCaaS market working for the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leaders. His team has implemented hundreds of UCaaS engagements in every vertical market for his Customers, making him an expert in his field. Tim and his team created the first UCaaS Matrix 1.0, real-world analysis of the UCaaS landscape which helped early adopters evaluate, and migrate from on-premise to a hosted UC model.

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