Survey suggests NaaS interest on the rise

Friday, 01 July, 2022

Survey suggests NaaS interest on the rise

A new study from Aruba (a HPE company) suggests a rising interest in Network-as-a-Service (NaaS), as technology leaders across Australia re-evaluate their current infrastructure and network setup. The company said the shift is in light of the sustained digital transformation needed to navigate the post-COVID world.

Aruba defines NaaS as when an organisation has over 50% of its network rollout, operations and life cycle management delivered by a third party on a subscription basis and says that 94% of Australian companies are discussing this model in some capacity (according to a survey of 240 senior decision-makers responsible for IT and cloud strategy in their organisation).

Business benefits

The survey queried reasons behind the interest in NaaS, with financial efficiency emerging as a main anticipated benefit. Just over three-quarters (76%) of respondents expected it to reduce operational costs, with 64% believing it would shift outlay from CapEx to OpEx. Greater flexibility and enhanced security were other identified drivers.

Over two-thirds (68%) of respondents agreed that having the flexibility to scale their network based on business needs was key to their interest, and 63% saw it as a potential game changer in how they would be able to manage activities. Eighty-two per cent claimed that moving to the NaaS model would afford significant cost savings. Meanwhile, less than half (45%) were looking at NaaS to help them reduce IT staff levels — instead believing it would free up team time for innovation and strategic initiatives (65%).

Barriers to success

The appetite for NaaS is evident. Unfortunately, the road towards implementation looks less clear, with the survey identifying a number of key barriers.

On the surface it appears that internal processes may be the issue. Among the top concerns identified by technology leaders were the desire to keep the network management in-house (71%), managing the move to NaaS model (58%) and compliance with internal procurement (57%).

However, a deeper dive into the data reveals a much more fundamental barrier: a lack of overall understanding of NaaS. While 100% of technology leaders said they were familiar with NaaS as a term, almost three in 10 (28%) were unaware of what it truly means.

Although most companies discussing NaaS fully understood what NaaS means (72%), an education gap is still evident in the perception of NaaS’s viability. Only 23% of technology leaders currently saw NaaS as an established and viable solution. The remainder either considered it to be a concept looking for a market (49%) or in its early beginnings (28%).

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