Aruba's latest survey reveals a rising interest in Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) among technology leaders across Australia as they re-evaluate their current infrastructure and network setup.
NaaS was defined in the survey as when a company has over 50% of its network rollout, operations and life cycle management delivered by a third party on a subscription basis.
The report found that 94% of Australian companies are currently discussing NaaS in some capacity, and it is a topic of frequent discussion in 58% of companies.
Aruba says 90% of hi-tech businesses say that NaaS is a hot topic currently followed by government (77%), manufacturing (70%), industrial (60%) and financial services (60%) - hospitality was lowest at 40%.
Financial efficiency emerged as one of the main anticipated benefits when respondents were asked about the reasons behind their interest. Over three-quarters (76%) of respondents expect NaaS to help reduce operational costs, and 64% think it could enable a shift from CapEx to OpEx. The other primary drivers were greater flexibility in terms of the network and team time and enhanced security.
Three-quarters (68%) of companies agree that the flexibility to scale their network based on business needs is key to their interest, and 63% see it as a potential game-changer in managing activities.
In fact, 82% of companies claimed that moving to the NaaS model will afford significant cost savings. Meanwhile, less than half (45%) are looking at NaaS to help them reduce IT staff levels instead, believing it will free up team time for innovation and strategic initiatives (65%).
Aruba says the appetite for NaaS is evident, but the road towards implementation looks less clear, with the survey identifying several key barriers.
On the surface, the report found that internal processes may be the issue. For example, among the top concerns identified by technology leaders were the desire to keep the network management in-house (71%), managing the move to the NaaS model (58%) and compliance with internal procurement (57%).
However, Aruba says a deeper dive into the data reveals a much more fundamental barrier: a lack of overall understanding of NaaS. While 100% of technology leaders say they are familiar with NaaS as a term, almost three in 10 (28%) are unaware of what it truly means.
Although most companies discussing NaaS fully understand what NaaS means (72%), an education gap is also evident in the perception of NaaS' viability. Only 23% of technology leaders see NaaS as an established and viable solution. The remainder either consider it to be a concept looking for a market (49%) or in its early beginnings (28%).
Coleman Parkes conducted the research and surveyed 240 senior decision-makers in Australia responsible for their organisation's IT and cloud strategy. Coleman Parkes used an online methodology, and fieldwork was conducted between October 2021 to February 2022. The sample comprised organisations of 500 plus employees, ranging to 5,000 plus.