Cloud-based services have created their fair share of interest within enterprise-level companies and small to medium businesses (SMBs). Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) have also garnered much attention within the telecom industry. Together, these technologies and advances in the industry have helped to address important business needs for enterprises and SMBs, specifically in terms of services and security.
In a white paper from Edgewater Networks, its argued that SDN and NFV are game-changers for the telecom industry, especially when it comes to deploying software-as-a-service (SaaS). SaaS, a service delivery model that licenses software on a subscription basis, has a centralized host and empowers customers to deliver a wide range of applications. Moreover, a SaaS model has certain security benefits that make it attractive to SMBs and enterprises alike.
Easy to deploy and evaluate, SaaS models provide an easier way to test new applications without a high price tag, a major plus for SMBs that lack the bigger budget of enterprise-level companies. With SaaS living in the cloud, configuring and provisioning becomes a cinch for users. SaaS service providers handle all deployment processes, thereby removing customers from any associated risk. Shifting the burden of reliability, scale, security, management, and support to the service provider can free up customers to focus on streamlined services and reduce operational expenses.
With that said, the transition to cloud- and SaaS-based models doesn’t necessarily mean the road will be smooth. Delivering SaaS solutions with SDN and NFV is going to drastically change how managed service providers address SMB security needs. Cloud delivery presents a unique challenge for SMBs – the opportunity to have services once only offered to larger enterprises, but the lack of preparedness to address obstacles associated with cloud-based service provisioning. Security vulnerabilities become a reality when SMBs are met with the advances and new technology they never planned on having.
While enterprises can afford the costs incurred by beefing up security for a cloud/SaaS environment, this is still unattainable for many SMBs, causing them to look to a cost effective option – standard firewalls – that they believe will protect their systems. Spoiler alert: it’s not enough.
The white paper points to three reasons why SMBs are harder for managed service providers to reach when it comes to provisioning security solutions. First, SMBs rely too heavily on basic approaches, reluctant to opt for higher (and more costly) security choices. Second, like snowflakes, one SMB is not like another. Each company needs a specific solution that meets its specific needs. Lastly, and possibly most importantly, cost is a major drawback. The inability to pinpoint the exact cost of security services means SMBs are less likely to take that route.
The telecom industry and SMBs need to look to the cloud for answers. This has become more of a viable option with the help of SDN and NFV. To better understand how SDN and NFV can address these concerns and bring an effective SaaS model for security solutions to SMBs, download the Edgewater Networks white paper, “It’s All in the Cloud Now: How SDN and NFV are Changing the Telecom Industry” now.