COVID-19 upended enterprise digital transformation plans. To support urgent remote-access mandates, many enterprises frantically fortified VPN access and stacked security appliances to build bandwidth to accommodate remote employees’ access to business-critical applications. Many soon discovered that a Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) would prove a better-agile remote-access solution than reinvesting in legacy appliances.
How can companies justify the switch to a cloud-based ZTA? Most ROI calculations focus on CAPEX: what equipment can be eliminated, replaced, or not even purchased in the first place? (Answer: legacy VPN and security appliances.) Switching to ZTA eliminates the upfront cost of those devices. Is that enough to justify ZTA investment? For most enterprises, probably. But there are substantial efficiencies to be achieved in the hidden OPEX costs associated with operating legacy appliances.
Operating within a legacy environment is inefficient: How much time do IT administrators spend writing the same access policy in multiple languages for data center firewalls, AWS security groups, Azure access controls? How many log formats does IT have to correlate to really understand what happens to user traffic accessing a remote application? How much time is spent updating software across all security stacks in all offices?
A cloud-based Zero Trust Architecture eliminates OPEX costs:
- With ZTA, internet-bound traffic travels directly over local providers using zero trust identity-based management, supplanting the need for MPLS networks (and the cost and performance-degrading backhauling associated with them).
- In a ZTA environment, direct, seamless application access improves performance, reducing user complaints and thus IT support costs.
- Using the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange eliminates the administrative overhead of security-stack patching, maintenance, and upgrading.
Learn more about how moving your network to a Zero Trust architecture can help reduce both CAPEX and OPEX costs.