Building a Business Case for SDN

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Compare SDN against Traditional Methods

By now you have a good sense of how the SDN solution will perform, so it’s time to compare the time and efficacy of the SDN solution against your traditional method of performing the tasks.

Build Inter-departmental or Enterprise-wide Consensus

Similar to a cloud or BYOD initiative, giving visibility for SDN can help you bring the company together, and can also build support for improving how IT can drive the business. If you understand the pain points and how SDN can improve operations for campus security, collaborative tools, and the data center, you can evangelize how SDN can be a competitive advantage for each department. You can then rank departmental projects in order of priority and use each group as examples of how SDN can drive economic as well as employee benefits.

Determine SDN Cost Savings

Based on an understanding of the time differences between using an SDN solution and doing things the traditional way, you can come up with a comparison of CapEx and OpEx costs for the two different approaches. You should prepare a multi-year financial analysis of the costs and benefits that will sell the solution over the long term.

Create a Presentation

Finally, create a presentation that summarizes your findings. It’s important to tie the benefits of SDN back to direct business value, so you should include some examples of how SDN eliminates pain points in business units and allows the IT department to do its job more efficiently and cost-effectively. The presentation should also address what your IT organization will do to mitigate the risk that is associated with implementing the SDN solution. In addition to mitigating the risk associated with the solution not performing well, this includes mitigating concerns that management has about issues such as security, compliance and existing processes.

If you put in the work to prepare a solid business case for SDN, you should be in a great position to strategize how you will roll out SDN in your data center. The business unit pain points and cost comparison will help you prioritize your projects, and the business case will give management the confidence to let you proceed.

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