Aruba Sees Network-as-a-Service a Post-COVID-19 Reality

Photo credit: iStockphoto/kynny

We all know that COVID-19 brought the concept of hybrid working — employees working from anywhere that is convenient and safe — to the forefront.

As a result, companies are starting to increase investments in cloud-based, analytics and assurance, edge computing, and AI-powered networking technologies as business recovery plans take shape said a global survey of 2,400 IT decision-makers (ITDMs) commissioned by Aruba, an HPE company. The survey concluded that this shift in investment will speed up IT services, especially network services. But it will not be via CapEx, but through subscription models. 

The average proportion of IT services consumed via subscription will increase from 34% of the total today to 46% in 2022 globally, whereas from 35% to 48% in APAC. In the same period, the number of companies that will have over 50% of their IT solutions ‘as a service’ will increase by 72% globally and in APAC.

“With the emergence of the hybrid workplace, IT leaders in Singapore are being asked to deliver a delicate balance between flexibility, security, and affordability at the edge,” said Justin Chiah, senior director for South East Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong/Macau (SEATH), at Aruba in a press release.

“It has become increasingly clear that to support these new needs, IT decision-makers are attracted to the reduced risk and cost advantages offered by a subscription model,” he added.

While 85% of companies surveyed in Singapore (77% for global) halted various projects because of COVID-19, investment in cloud-based networking (38%), analytics and assurance (42%) increased.

With networks becoming the backbone of the business, companies are looking to troubleshoot and fine-tune it as demands shift with a distributed workforce. The survey noted that 34% globally are planning to increase their investment in analytics and assurance as a result.

Companies are also exploring innovative technologies that simplify the lives of IT teams. The survey found 35% of respondents globally are planning to increase their investment in AI-based networking technologies, with the APAC region leading the charge at 44% (including 60% of ITDMs in India, 54% in Hong Kong, and 28% in Singapore).

As a result of all these trends, networking subscription models are rising faster in popularity in APAC (61%) than in the Americas (52%) or EMEA (50%). At the country level, the highest demands are in Turkey (73%), India (70%), and China (65%).

The industries most likely to be considering the subscription model are hotels/hospitality (66%), technology and telecom (58%), and education (57%). 

“The need for agility and flexibility in network management is now greater than ever. From the global survey, it shows that 58% of ITDMs in the APAC region would explore managed service solutions — higher than the global average of 53%, which is a reflection of the positive outlook that the APAC businesses have,” said Chiah.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/kynny