Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives are now at the core of many business strategies. Organisations are seeking to drive improvements across the areas of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), sustainability, employee wellbeing, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), ethics and transparency – and technology like Secure SD-WAN is ready to assist.
Reducing environmental impact with a lower carbon footprint whilst providing more sustainable technology and sustainable procurement are initiatives that many organisations are rightly adopting. Fortunately, there are many technologies today that can help drive this forward, along with some technology partners and suppliers that are taking these initiatives seriously.
One example of technology helping organisations to make great strides is Secure SD-WAN, so let’s delve into how it does just that.
Technology Consolidation and Integration
Traditional Wide Area Networks (WAN’s) often involve multiple physical devices across many locations, typically deployed for various edge networking and security functions. Having multiple, often legacy, hardware components results in excessive energy consumption and increased carbon emissions. Consolidating multiple network and security functions into a single integrated device and platform streamlines network infrastructure, and crucially, overall environmental impact.
Additionally, you can collapse multiple isolated network islands into one secure network. This consolidation not only leads to cost savings and simplified management, but also enhances network efficiency, performance and security.
Reduced Energy Consumption
Intelligently analysing network conditions, such as bandwidth availability, jitter and latency enables efficient routing of traffic across the network. SD-WAN directs traffic down the optimal path – whether through MPLS, direct internet, broadband, or 4G LTE/5G connections. This intelligent routing improves network performance and reduces unnecessary data transmission.
Modern and specialised hardware, benefiting from significant energy improvements over legacy equipment, helps optimise traffic processing to lower energy consumption and decrease carbon emissions. By minimising network traffic and using more efficient hardware, organisations can contribute to a greener ecosystem and lower their energy costs.
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SD-WAN brings agility and security to your network, empowering your teams with the fastest, most secure experience for your organisation, whether you’re on an HD video call with the team or simply accessing files across the network.
Our Secure Managed SD-WAN service is designed to ensure that your business connectivity keeps everybody secure and productive, regardless of whether they’re working from the office, home or elsewhere.
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Cloud Alignment and Enablement
SD-WAN leverages cloud-based management, adding to the environmental credentials of this technology. Cloud-based management enables efficient and centralised network configuration and control, which along with Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP), minimises the need for on-site technicians and their associated travel-related carbon emissions. Some network functions can also be virtualised, reducing the reliance on physical devices and the power consumptions that come with them.
Additionally, SD-WAN accelerates cloud and SaaS adoption, helping organisations to consume or deploy right-sized applications on hyperscale hosting platforms. These hyperscale platforms offer the highest levels of efficiency by sharing available resources on optimised hardware, this hardware is co-located in large-scale data centres that are designed for low energy consumption.
Enhanced Security and Compliance
Secure SD-WAN can play a vital role in the security of IT infrastructure. Integrating security functionality directly into SD-WAN adds distributed threat prevention without bolt-on security appliances. This, in turn, minimises risk and helps to maintain compliance with regulatory standards. Additionally, as all cyberattacks have a carbon cost, carbon emissions are reduced, too.
Consolidation not only reduces energy consumption, but also the production and disposal of electronic waste that’s typically associated with obsolete or redundant devices. Having robust security capabilities natively integrated with SD-WAN not only protects the environment but also your network. It also shows a strong organisational commitment towards data privacy, regulatory compliance and other ESG initiatives.
Streamlined Hybrid Working
Recent shifts towards remote and hybrid working have solidified the need for reliable network access at all locations to maintain a productive workforce. SD-WAN enables seamless collaboration and hybrid working by ensuring consistent and secure network access across distributed locations. Reducing the need for extensive travel through successful Work from Anywhere (WFA) schemes can contribute to a greener environment by decreasing carbon emissions.
Affording flexibility to employees also helps to improve their work-life balance, mental health, wellbeing and ultimately productivity, which are all critical for attracting and retaining the best talent. This combines to ensure SD-WAN aligns with ESG initiatives by promoting employee wellness and reducing the environmental impact of commuting.
SD-WAN IS DEFINED BY SUSTAINABILITY
SD-WAN offers many benefits beyond network optimisation and security. This flexible network technology delivers intelligent traffic routing, cloud-based management, enhanced security and streamlined hybrid working to reduce energy consumption, lower carbon emissions and enhanced sustainability. By embracing SD-WAN, organisations can align their operations with ESG initiatives, prioritise environmental sustainability, and help achieve a greener future.
At Node4, we take ESG and sustainability initiatives seriously – and we’re also a safe and experienced pair of hands for Secure SD-WAN. We can help you harness modern technology to drive positive change and protect our planet into the future.