September 28, 2022

4 Min Read
Brain light via Alamy Stock Photos

The world is changing, and manual efforts can’t keep up.

Enterprises of all sizes have evolved dramatically as they navigate changes like cloud adoption, the hybrid workforce, and increased security needs. To keep up, enterprises are taking on branch transformation initiatives by adding new branch services. Now IT teams are tasked with deploying and managing cloud services without creating service interruptions. Unfortunately, they are often forced to implement disjointed solutions manually which requires downtime and frequent human intervention, increasing operational complexity and costs. Managing these services with disparate interfaces makes troubleshooting and resolving issues a nightmare for the infrastructure team.

There is, however, hope. To achieve a successful branch transformation and realize the full benefit of their investments, organizations must leverage a next-generation SD-WAN solution that simplifies branch service integrations without service disruptions at the branch or in the cloud.

Applications are Moving to the Cloud, Rapidly!

According to ESG research, “95% of organizations currently use public cloud services (i.e., SaaS and IaaS). In addition, organizations continue to increase the number of business applications that reside in the public cloud over the next over the next 36 months.” The reality is these applications and workloads are spread across more than one cloud. As a result, enterprises need the ability to connect to multicloud scale without suffering from downtime. They require a robust solution that simplifies and automates cloud connectivity at scale, allowing them direct access to cloud applications for optimized performance at reduced costs and complexity.

Network and Application Performance Visibility is Critical for the Customer Experience

Businesses are struggling to support customer requests in a timely manner, leading to customer dissatisfaction. Support teams spend considerable cycles addressing redundant issues that should be automated. Infrastructure leaders are challenged with combing through heaps of analytics and data, and they often lack the expertise to properly interpret this information in a timely manner.

IT staff needs an automated solution that can deliver customer response effectively through channels such as email apps, interactive voice apps, and chat apps. The need for improved productivity motivates infrastructure leaders to leverage collaboration applications to provide network and application visibility to their teams.

Automated Incident Management Help Streamline Trouble Tickets

Businesses spend significant time and effort creating, managing and resolving support tickets due to the lack of automated systems tracking their WAN infrastructure issues. Organizations have tons of notifications to comb through, requiring extensive manual intervention and making critical network events difficult to identify, further increasing operational complexity and costs. They require simplified operations by automating network issue tracking while consolidating, prioritizing, and filtering events effectively to identify the critical ones, reducing IT hours spent troubleshooting, resolving, and tracking support tickets.

Superior Security to Protect Today’s Branches

Many corporate applications have moved to web-based architectures using SaaS or public cloud (the average organization uses 110 SaaS applications, according to Statistica). The vast majority of organizations, 80% according to Flexera, have adopted a hybrid cloud strategy. As a result, our attack surface has increased exponentially, with many architectures now supporting direct-to-app connections versus backhauling traffic to data centers. At the same time, we are seeing a dramatic increase in the volume as well as the sophistication of cyberattacks.

Organizations need to modernize and consolidate their networking and security infrastructures into a single service to simplify management and operations to provide least privilege access to their hybrid workforces. They’re also looking for cloud delivery of this service to provide consistent and scalable secure access to all applications and data across their hybrid environments.

Prisma SD-WAN CloudBlades

Palo Alto Networks Prisma SD-WAN CloudBlades seamlessly deliver comprehensive branch services - such as security, multi-cloud, and collaboration tools - without needing to update your branch appliance or controller, thus eliminating service disruptions. This unique cloud-based API architecture automates deployments of third-party entities, enabling organizations to simplify network operations and multi-cloud connectivity and expedite branch deployments. This same technology enabled the creation of Prisma SASE, which simplifies secure access by connecting all users and locations with all apps from a single solution. Prisma SASE consistently secures all apps used by your hybrid workforce, regardless of whether users are at home, on the go, or in the office. It protects all application traffic with best-in-class capabilities while securing access and data to dramatically reduce the risk of a data breach.

To learn more about how Prisma SASE and the Prisma SD-WAN CloudBlades Platform can help transform your business, watch the session “Modernize Your Branch with Prisma SD-WAN” from SASE Converge on-demand.


Shankar serves as Director of Product Management for the Prisma SD-WAN product line. Prior to joining Palo Alto Networks, he was the Product Management lead for the multi-billion dollar Enterprise branch routing portfolio at Cisco. Shankar holds a Masters degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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