A software defined wide area network (SD WAN) provides significant benefits through network virtualization and improved data transfer rates through different communications networks. In particular it helps organizations optimize communication with and integrate local networks, cloud environments and the internet by taking advantage of more robust data routing architectures.

Implementing SD WAN, however, can be resource intensive initially and requires significant expertise in a range of technologies. For this reason many companies choose a managed SD WAN solution rather than having to plan, design, implement and manage the network themselves. Managed service providers of SD WAN can provide a turnkey solution for a customer, for which they pay for on a subscription basis, rather than having to maintain a skills base to do so themselves. Organizations often make the decision that their IT professionals are more productive in other areas than maintaining an SD WAN solution.