NaaS adoption will thrive despite migration challenges

Enterprises are embracing network-as-a-service (NaaS) offerings as they work through vendor hype, budget obstacles, and the challenges of legacy systems.

supply chain / virtual network of connections

Network-as-a-service (NaaS) is gaining momentum, providing a subscription-based model that eliminates the need for enterprises to own, build, and maintain their own network infrastructure. By replacing conventional hardware-centric VPNs, firewall appliances, load balancers, and MPLS connections, NaaS technology promises adopters the ability to rapidly scale up and down in lockstep with demand while eliminating hardware costs and bolstering network security and service levels.

Why enterprises adopt NaaS

Enterprises are generally attracted to the NaaS model by the potential to consume scalable network services at a predictable cost while shifting spending from capital expenses to operating expenses, says Robert Smallwood, technology vice president at IT service management firm General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT).

NaaS's key benefits include rapid deployment, on-demand scaling, hands-off modernization refreshes, and access to the expertise needed to design and maintain today's increasingly complex mesh of interconnecting networks.

NaaS adoption can also help IT leaders bring limited resources into alignment with strategic business goals. "There's considerable power in freeing-up an organization’s internal IT resources to refocus and prioritize on measuring and meeting business objectives," says John Chambers, director of the network and unified communication solutions team at business consulting firm RSM US.

NaaS's five-year outlook looks promising, Smallwood says. Gartner predicts NaaS will be adopted by 15% of all enterprises by the end of 2024, up from less than 1% in 2021, he says. Mordor Intelligence, meanwhile, forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for NaaS of 33% between 2021 and 2026.

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