SA sees growing appetite for network-as-a-service
A new report by Aruba, a Hewlett-Packard Enterprise company, shows growing appetite for network-as-a-service (NaaS) technology in SA, as accelerated digital transformation is drawing IT leaders towards new network models that are fit for purpose.
The report, released yesterday, says the need for a network that can adapt in this rapidly-changing and increasingly digital environment came across loud and clear in its research.
NaaS is a cloud service model in which customers rent networking services from cloud providers, as technology leaders across SA re-evaluate their current infrastructure and network setup.
“COVID-19 served as a catalyst of changing the way today’s corporate IT staff must plan and procure their respective networks,” says Mandy Duncan, country manager for Aruba.
“NaaS can ensure the critical flexibility needed by businesses as they look to recovery and is the reason why it has become a formidable topic and the answer for today’s market needs.”
According to the Aruba report, NaaS is a concept that 90% of South African companies are currently discussing in some capacity.
In fact, the report says, this is a topic of frequent discussion in one in three companies.
Aruba explains further: “When asked about the reasons behind this interest, financial efficiency emerged as one of the main anticipated benefits, with 70% of respondents expecting NaaS to help reduce operational costs, and 54% thinking it could enable a shift from capital expenditure to operational expenditure. But flexibility – both in terms of the network and team time – was another primary driver.
“Over three-quarters (78%) of companies agree that having the flexibility to scale their network based on business needs is key to their interest, while 88% of organisations see the NaaS model as highly attractive due to its 24/7 operations centre.”
Furthermore, less than half (46%) of the survey participants are looking at NaaS to help them reduce IT staff levels – instead believing it will enable them to redeploy skills and talent to other projects (56%).
The appetite for NaaS is evident, Aruba says, but cautions 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 budget rules and investment cycles (83%), finding the budget (57%) and compliance (51%).
“However, a deeper dive into the data reveals a much more fundamental barrier: a lack of overall understanding of NaaS. While 100% of respondents said they have heard about NaaS, only 37% fully understand the benefits of the model.”