With on-demand software-defined infrastructures, networking becomes point-and-click, plug-and-play, just like how we stream music without the hassles of buying and downloading.

A global, digital arms race is fueling the future of the cloud. Across the Asia Pacific region (APAC) we are seeing rapid adoption of cloud technology. According to one report the region’s cloud market is projected to grow 177% to a value of USD$228 bn by 2024.

Meanwhile, all too often overlooked in digital transformation plans are network strategies, which we all know are critical to enabling robust, reliable connectivity between different services and environments. Only with an efficient way of connecting to the Cloud, will businesses reap the benefits of operating in the multicloud and hybrid cloud environments that are becoming the norm for enterprises.

It is clear that organizations need a new more agile approach to networking. But where should they look for inspiration?

Rewrite the networking playbook
Let us take a look at an industry disruptor: on-demand music streaming services such as Spotify have transformed the way people choose to experience music.

Once the app has been downloaded, subscribers can simply point, click or tap to listen to whatever music they desire. The experience is slick and, most importantly, fast. Songs can be chosen, skipped and switched with minimal latency and at the whim of the consumer.

Now, imagine this level of ease and flexibility being available in the networking paradigm, via a software-defined approach. Instead of relying on physical connections to link to the cloud, everything can be mediated through a software layer that connects the entire infrastructure.

This kind of Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform greatly simplifies the process of creating and managing distributed hybrid and multicloud networks. Whether you are transferring one workload to another cloud, spinning up a new backhaul or scaling down capacity when traffic is low, you can do all these within minutes, from a web browser or mobile device.

Medicines on demand?
For example, Zuellig Pharma, one of the largest healthcare services groups in Asia, was able to unlock super-speed communication by migrating their entire ERP system to Microsoft Azure and their next-gen applications to AWS as part of an enterprise-wide digital transformation initiative using the software-defined approach.

To perform such a massive migration to hybrid cloud and multicloud environments using traditional networking methods would have taken multiple fiscal quarters and many trips for IT teams to data center around the world, but with a global, on-demand Software-Defined Network (SDN), the project was done almost entirely with a portal via points and clicks, not unlike listening to music on Spotify.

So we can see that, with a software-defined network, architecting a hybrid cloud or multicloud network becomes as easy as streaming your favorite songs or podcasts.