What if…? Reimagining the Network Team’s Role with NaaS

Network-as-a-service (NaaS) is empowering network teams to become enablers of strategic business objectives.

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By Austin Hawthorne, NaaS Sales Director, at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

In networking, there will always be a gap between what’s needed and what’s available, whether it’s budget, resources, or time. This not only impacts the ability of a business to be agile, innovative, and competitive, but it also affects its people, specifically the team that’s tasked with ensuring the network meets or exceeds the business’s ever expanding needs. Morale suffers when network teams are not afforded the ability to do the job at the level they expect of themselves and what’s needed to have the desired impact on the broader organization. Networks teams have the skills, passion, and drive to succeed, but all too often they must hurry a project through with “good enough” results, spending far too much time on low-level tasks like troubleshooting basic connectivity issues (many of which would not exist if there was enough time, resources, and budget to resolve the root causes).

What if you didn’t have to constantly fight for budget and resources to ensure that the network was always upgraded, optimized, and on the leading edge of technology?

What if you had a network that was always ready to support the next project and could serve as a platform for innovation?

What if your network team’s time, resources, and budget were focused on the strategic business initiatives that matter instead of just “keeping the lights on?” 

With Network-as-a-Service (NaaS), you can stop asking “What if?” With NaaS, you get a fully updated, optimized, and secured network, delivered in a simple monthly payment and with no upfront capital expenditures required. The network team’s time (and associated budget) are now focused on maximizing the network’s value, which bolsters morale, reduces risk, and delivers more predictable and impactful outcomes to the business. 

Sound too good to be true? Here are several common issues network teams deal with in a traditional buy, build, and operate model…and how NaaS can help solve them:

  1. Supporting end-of-life (EOL) solutions

Networking, like any other technology, has a planned useful life, after which it is upgraded/refreshed to the latest technology. When that time comes, businesses often decide to divert those budgets to other areas, asking network teams to “sweat” the assets for a much longer period, in many cases, past EOL. This puts the business at risk (no security patches), increases IT workload (no big fixes), and reduces the capability of the network to support new business applications (lack of required features/performance). 

With NaaS, there’s no upfront capital budget required and no capital budget requirements at time of refresh. The technology is part of the monthly subscription, and evergreening to the latest technology is built in. With NaaS, an organization will never have to make risky trade-offs for budgetary reasons and network teams will always have a network that is ready to support their strategic initiatives.

  1. Falling behind on software versions and patches

New software updates not only fix bugs and patch known security vulnerabilities, but they also bring new features that can provide a meaningful impact to the organization (e.g., performance, security, operations, etc.). Because network teams are stretched so thin, keeping up on every new release is virtually impossible and by falling behind it is exposing the company to unnecessary risk, increasing the burden on the IT teams, impacting strategic initiatives, and causing user/application issues.

With NaaS, the network is kept up to date for you – network teams don’t need to worry about patching, applying updates, or determining which features are applicable and how to tune them. The network is ready to support your current and future business needs—risk is lowered, there are fewer user/application issues, and ultimately a reduced workload for IT.

  1. Not maximizing deployed capabilities 

Network technology decisions are usually driven by the value it can have on an organization, but often times that value is never truly realized. Most of the time and effort are spent on the initial design and deployment, but once things are up and running, resources are diverted elsewhere, and the solution is not regularly evaluated and enhanced in order to realize the full benefits. Expertise gained during the initial deployment is not maintained and new capability updates are missed.

With NaaS, the solution is constantly “tuned” to meet current and future business needs, and the insights generated in a NaaS model are leveraged to increase the value of the services being delivered to the business. The result is a network investment that realizes the value initially envisioned throughout the lifecycle of the service.

  1. Constant focus on resolving network issues (firefighting)

Network engineers know that the vast majority of their time is spent trying to identify and diagnose issues rather than focusing on initiatives that deliver strategic value to the business. This not only makes it harder to achieve business outcomes but can also negatively affect team morale and result in staff turnover.

NaaS offloads the network team (and other IT resources) from having to deal with the lifecycle management of a network and the challenges it creates, identifying and resolving issues proactively before they turn into user issues. While this may seem like a threat to the job security of the network team, in reality it frees them from the restrictions of the traditional operating model and enables them to become a much more valuable member of the IT organization.

Now what?

It’s time to rethink the traditional buy-build-operate network model. It’s time to consume the network like you consume SaaS applications today. With NaaS, you can easily scale network resources, accomplish more, and produce a better result for the broader organization. More importantly, you’ll release the network team from the burden of budgets, time, and resources, allowing them to get back to the job of true engineering and become a key enabler of the business by increasing their visibility, improving morale, and providing more opportunities for career advancement.

Learn how Aruba’s NaaS offerings can help your network team stop fighting fires and start delivering more strategic business value.

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