There are a number of unique security and networking challenges that will continue to arise as manufacturing IT environments integrate internet of things (IoT) devices, 5G communications technology and multiaccess edge computing capabilities. While there are distinct advantages that these technologies bring to manufacturing operations, if only traditional network technologies are accounted for, there will be gaps in an organization’s ability to support and secure high-velocity, high-demand supply chain operations.
In today’s ever-connected world, network transformation is the backbone of business transformation. In the manufacturing sector, where dynamic supply chain operations grow more intense and widespread every day, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and customers must be able to connect quickly, acting like enterprise branch offices that rely on instantaneous communications with headquarters. This is critical to ensure that the supply chain has the needed flexibility and visibility for management. The expansion of IoT devices, sensor connectivity and other cyber-oriented systems fueling the evolution at the network’s edge need reliable access to sensor data to improve production processes and product quality, create a safer work environment, and enhance equipment performance.
This level of business transformation requires substantial network transformation. And, as I've seen firsthand with our company's software platform, which focuses heavily on SD-security, one of the most efficient and effective means for achieving this milestone in today’s market is software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN). This brings together diverse circuits to increase bandwidth while lowering costs and complexity and helps manufacturers work smarter, faster and cheaper. Moreover, the synergies between SD-WAN and multicloud deployments drive a range of benefits, accommodating automation, virtualization, on-demand provisioning and granular packet-level data analytics, while ensuring agility, scalability and cost savings.