Why Network-As-A-Service Is The Next Big Thing

Stephanie Hoenig, March 24, 2021

Ever since Software-as-a-Service - or SaaS - became a ‘thing’ in around 2001, the ‘as a service’ model has been growing. These days, businesses can access everything from Hardware-as-a-Service to Knowledge-as-a-service (KaaS) - with perhaps the only tricky part being remembering all the acronyms. 

But in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, there’s a new kid on the ‘as a service’ block - and it’s one you definitely want to have on your radar if you run an IT department or lead a business. Network-as-a-Service - or NaaS - isn’t just a trendy buzzword.

According to Aruba’s Preparing for the post-pandemic workplace report, there will be a major shift towards network-as-a-service in the next couple of years.

The research showed that the average proportion of IT services consumed by subscription is expected to jump from a current level of 29% to 41% in the next 24 months. The proportion of users who consume most of their services via subscription is expected to reach 74% by 2022.

So what does NaaS mean - and how does it work?

Like other ‘as-a-service’ models, Networking-as-a-Service is made possible by cloud technology. Essentially, it's built around cloud-based delivery of the latest hardware and software network components, along with management tools and lifecycle services.

The key aspect of NaaS is that it’s provided to businesses as a flexible consumption operating expense (OpEx). It’s this element of the service which is a complete game changer for small and medium businesses, who want to stay up to speed with network innovation and take advantage of the very latest technology, but aren’t able to make huge upfront investments in infrastructure. 

NaaS clients typically also get access to automation tools that help save time and data analytics that provide visibility and control so that IT leaders can optimise network performance, depending on the unique needs of their business.

When NaaS is provided as part of a Technology Managed Service, businesses can also enjoy peace of mind thanks to complete support and dedicated expertise. 

What’s behind the current boom in NaaS? 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a general trend in the IT world for moving away from ‘traditional’ IT services and instead adopting cloud-based IT services based on a more adaptable and flexible approach. 

However, the events of the last 12 months have turbocharged the appetite for ‘as-a-service’ tech, especially NaaS.

With employees working from home, businesses have urgently been seeking ways to utilise the latest tech that supports remote-working. A solid, reliable, cloud-based network is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘must have’.

But while business leaders want access to the best available tech for the current climate, they are also budget-conscious. NaaS is a way for businesses to deliver a network that’s flexible, secure and affordable. 

“Every part of the workplace needs to evolve,” said Aruba CTO Partha Narasimhan

 

“The campus must be embedded with technology to support social distancing and contactless experiences, and the home office must offer enterprise-level connectivity, security and support.

It's increasingly clear that to support these new needs in a financially challenging environment, IT decision-makers are attracted to the reduced risk and cost advantages offered by a subscription model."

 

By signing up for Network-as-a-service with a trusted provider, and paying for it as an operating expense, businesses can embrace the hybrid workplace (even post-pandemic) while staying ahead of the tech curve, and remaining competitive. 

How ITEC is delivering NaaS

ITEC, a Xerox Business Solutions Company, is one of a small handful of Managed Service Providers in the UK to hold certified Aruba MSP status. ITEC is also a HPe Aruba Silver Partner. 

This means that ITEC is perfectly placed to help its new and existing customers embrace the benefits of NaaS. ITEC clients will now be able to access the latest, fully-managed cloud-based networking solutions from Aruba on a single ‘as-a-service’ basis with flexible OpEx and pay-per-use investment models.

 

Would you like to find out more about how ITEC can help with Network-as-a-Service? Get in touch with our expert team today.

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