What does SD-WAN mean for the IT skills gap?


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SD-WAN is the answer to many IT problems today. Particularly in the era of digital transformation and cloud-first environments, SD-WAN helps businesses continue moving in the right direction. What's more, SD-WAN enables businesses to cut costs, increase agility, and respond quicker to changing environments.

However, SD-WAN's potential seeps into more than just the technological aspects of the enterprise: it could be narrowing the IT skills gap plaguing businesses so much today.

This may come as a surprise to some businesses. Historically, organisations have hesitated at the adoption of SD-WAN due to lack of in-house expertise. Point in case: SD-WAN comes with unique considerations given its dispersed structure. Identifying problems when they arise, and then locating the source, may be considered overwhelming by IT teams. As well as this, you've all the security considerations to worry about too, making you wonder if SD-WAN is worth it at all.

However, this needn't be the case at all. Though it doesn't present itself as an obvious solution, organisations could actually leverage SD-WAN for quite the opposite effect: closing the IT skills gap.

How is SD-WAN a skills gap solution?

Organisations often misconceive the SD-WAN-specific skills shortage as a lack of technical knowledge. However, this isn't strictly true. Many businesses will have employees that are security and/or technology proficient, so it's just a matter of repurposing their skills to match the demands of SD-WAN through training.

Employees will often jump at the chance to upgrade and upskill. Not that anyone is looking to jump ship, but employees will appreciate that by undergoing training, they will obtain a high-demand skill set. In turn, both employers and their workforce will stand to benefit from becoming more SD-WAN-versed.

What this necessitates is ongoing investment to train employees in the SD-WAN arena. Today, there are many courses and resources available for your team to learn the ins and outs of SD-WAN, so why not make the most of the tools at your disposal? Once organisations have their SD-WAN secured as best as possible, the training will pay for itself. This is by alleviating the expense and efforts of finding talent in a talent pool that's already small. Best of all, it'll save you time, meaning your organisation can move forward and reap the benefits of SD-WAN quicker.

The IT industry as a whole could – and should – move forward with this approach to narrow the skills gap in all arenas. Not only will it make your employees feel valued, but it'll spare you a significant amount of headache.

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