Network as a Service (NaaS) has what it takes to revolutionize traditional network infrastructures. The post-pandemic digital transformation is driving IT leaders to create new network models that are more flexible, adaptable, and fit for purpose.
Networks are the backbone of corporate IT, but traditional network models can barely cope with modern requirements. According to a new study from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, interest in Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) continues to grow. One of the reasons for this is that technology leaders from the EMEA region are putting their current infrastructure and network to the test. The survey defined NaaS as a concept where an organization outsources more than 50 percent of its network, operations, and lifecycle management to a third party on a subscription basis. Eighty-six percent of the companies in the EMEA region are currently dealing with this concept. It is even a frequently discussed topic in almost every third company (30 percent).
Low costs are a key argument for using NaaS offerings. More than three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents expect NaaS will help reduce operational expenses, and 60 percent believe it can enable a shift from capital expenditures to operational expenditures. But flexibility – both in terms of the network and the time management of employees – is also an important factor.
For 81 percent of the companies in the DACH region, flexible scalability of their network is of central importance. Respondents see NaaS as a game-changer in how they can manage their activities. Just over half (51 percent) believe NaaS will help them cut back on IT staff. Seventy-seven percent believe it gives them more time for innovation and strategic initiatives.
Barriers to entry
Before IT managers can put the corresponding solutions into operation, there are a few factors to consider. At first glance, internal processes are the most difficult challenge. The top concerns raised by technology leaders include budget rules and investment cycles (59 percent), budget sourcing (55 percent), and meeting internal sourcing regulations (51 percent). However, a more detailed analysis of the data reveals a more fundamental problem: a lack of overall understanding of NaaS.
While all technology leaders surveyed say they have been exposed to the term NaaS, only two in five say they fully understand its meaning. Even among the companies that frequently engage with NaaS, only 46 percent of technology leaders say they are thoroughly familiar. Due to the sometimes lack of knowledge, many respondents believe that the concept is difficult to implement. Only 11 percent of technology leaders currently consider NaaS an established and viable solution. Other study participants believe that NaaS is still finding a market (45 percent) or seeing it as a concept still in its infancy (44 percent).
“Post-pandemic, agility, and flexibility in network management are greater than ever,” said Morten Illum, vice president of EMEA at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. “We know that NaaS can provide the flexibility businesses need to recover from the pandemic and beyond. NaaS offerings can solve many problems, from security and scalability to budget and staffing constraints. However, for companies to realize the potential of NaaS, we must focus on bridging the gap between the high level of awareness of the applications and the expertise that companies need.”