Aruba: Network as a Service Adoption to Accelerate by 38% within the Next Two Years as Businesses Adapt to Covid-19


  • 74% of
    organizations reported moderate to significant impact to their employees due to
    the pandemic
  • In
    response to COVID-19, 38% of IT leaders plan to increase their investment in
    cloud-based networking, and 35% in AI-based networking, as they seek more agile,
    automated infrastructures for hybrid work environments

HONG KONG, CHINA – Media
Outreach
 – 14 August 2020 –
Businesses will
experience profound changes as employees’ transition to hybrid work environments
following COVID-19, in turn changing the way IT teams procure and consume networking
solutions. In response to the pandemic, IT leaders are now investing more in
cloud-based and AI-powered networking technologies as business recovery plans
take shape. That’s according to a global survey of 2,400 IT decision-makers (ITDMs)
commissioned by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

As
IT leaders respond to the challenges associated with enabling a highly
distributed workforce and the emergence of the hybrid workplace — with people
needing to move seamlessly between working on campus, at home and on the road —
they are looking to evolve their network infrastructure and shift away from
CapEx investments towards solutions consumed ‘as a service’. The average proportion
of IT services consumed via subscription will accelerate by 38% in the next two
years, from 34% of the total today to 46% in 2022, and the share of
organizations that consume a majority (over 50%) of their IT solutions ‘as a
service’ will increase by approximately 72% in that time.

“With
the emergence of the hybrid workplace, IT leaders are being asked to deliver a delicate
balance between flexibility, security and affordability at the edge,” said Partha
Narasimhan, CTO and HPE Senior Fellow for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise
company. “Every part of the workplace needs to evolve: the campus must be
embedded with technology to support social distancing and contactless
experiences, and the home office must offer enterprise-level connectivity,
security and support. It’s increasingly clear that, to support these new needs
in a financially challenging environment, IT decision-makers are attracted to
the reduced risk and cost advantages offered by a subscription model.”

The
report, which surveyed ITDMs in over 20 countries and eight key industries,
looked at how they have responded to IT and business demands in the wake of COVID-19,
what investment decisions are being made as a result, and the consumption
models now being considered. A number of key findings stood out:

IMPACT
OF COVID-19 HAS SIGNIFICANT IMPLICATIONS

ITDMs
report that the impact of COVID-19 has been significant both on their employees
and short-term network investments:

  • 22%
    describing the impact on their employees as ‘significant’ (widespread furlough
    or layoffs), while 52% considered it ‘moderate’ (temporary reductions in some
    functions), and 19% ‘low’ (very few jobs impacted).
  • ITDMs
    in India (57%) and Brazil (34%) were most likely to cite a significant impact
    on their employees, while those in Hong Kong (12%) and Mexico (10%) reported the
    least, highlighting a massive swing in experiences between regions.
  • 77%
    said that investments in networking projects had been postponed or delayed since
    the onset of COVID-19, and 28% indicated that projects had been cancelled
    altogether.
  • Project
    cancellations were highest in Sweden (59%) and lowest in Italy (11%), showing there
    are also significant disparities between countries within the same region,
    while 37% of ITDMs in education and 35% in hotels and hospitality globally said
    they have had to cancel network investments.


THE
FUTURE IS BRIGHT: INVESTING FOR EMERGING NEEDS

By
contrast, future plans are aggressive, with the vast majority of ITDMs planning
to maintain or increase their networking investments in light of COVID-19, as
they work to support the new needs of employees and customers.

  • An
    astounding 38% globally will increase their investment in cloud-based
    networking, with 45% maintaining the same level and 15% scaling back. The APAC
    region was the global leader with 45% stating increased investment in
    cloud-based networking, rising to 59% among ITDMs in India. With cloud
    solutions allowing for remote network management at large scale, these
    capabilities are particularly enticing for IT teams when being on-premises is
    not possible or challenging.
  • ITDMs
    are also seeking improved tools for network monitoring and insight, with 34%
    globally planning to increase their investment in analytics and assurance, 48% indicating
    that they will maintain their level of investment and 15% reducing it. This
    allows IT organizations to troubleshoot and fine-tune the network more
    efficiently, as demands on it are augmented by a distributed workforce. 
  • There
    is also an emphasis on innovative technologies that simplify the lives of IT
    teams by automating repetitive tasks. We found 35% of ITDMs 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 and
    54% in Hong Kong).

ADOPTION
OF NEW CONSUMPTION MODELS IS ACCELERATING

As
ITDMs shape their investment plans, they are looking at alternative modes of
consumption to achieve the best balance of value and flexibility.

  • 55%
    globally say they will explore new subscription models for hardware and/or
    software, 53% managed services for turnkey hardware/software and 30% financial
    leasing — all as a result of the impact of COVID-19. This reflects the
    increased need for more financially flexible models in a challenging
    environment.
  • Networking
    subscription models are more popular in APAC (61%) than in the Americas (52%)
    or EMEA (50%), and at a 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
    impact of COVID-19 on IT behavior has made the desire for flexibility and predictability
    in spending, while reducing risk from initial capital costs, greater than
    before.
  • In
    stark contrast, just 8% globally plan to continue with only CapEx investments,
    though the proportion is higher in the Netherlands (20%), US (17%), Spain (16%)
    and France (15%). Across industries, 15% in retail, distribution and transport
    will continue to focus solely on CapEx investments, versus just 5% in IT, tech,
    education and telecoms, and 2% in hotels and hospitality.

“With
the needs of customers and employees having changed so comprehensively in
recent months, it’s no surprise to see IT leaders seeking more flexible
solutions,” says Narasimhan. “They are having to adapt fast and ensure that
more complex, distributed networks can securely support the experiences users
demand. The need for agility and flexibility in network management is now
greater than ever.”

While
the pandemic has clearly negatively impacted ongoing projects, this research
suggests it will also catalyze medium-term investment into advancing networking
technologies, and a shift to more flexible models of consumption that limit
up-front capital demands. Trends that were already taking hold will now
accelerate, including the move to the Edge and the adoption of cloud-based and
AI-driven intelligent networks.

To
find more about Aruba’s flexible IT solutions go to: https://www.arubanetworks.com/solutions/technology-solutions/

Additional
Resources

Infographic: https://www.arubanetworks.com/assets/infographic/Edge-Survey-Hybrid-Workplace_Infographic.pdf 

 

Aruba Hybrid Workplace page: https://www.arubanetworks.com/solutions/hybrid-workplace/

About Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is a leading
provider of next-generation networking solutions for enterprises of all sizes
worldwide. The company delivers IT solutions that empower organizations to
serve the latest generation of mobile-savvy users who rely on cloud-based
business apps for every aspect of their work and personal lives.

To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For
real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest
technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products visit Airheads Social at http://community.arubanetworks.com/
 

About Vanson Bourne

Vanson Bourne
is an independent specialist in market research for the technology sector.
Their reputation for robust and credible research-based analysis is founded
upon rigorous research principles and their ability to seek the opinions of
senior decision makers across technical and business functions, in all business
sectors and all major markets. For more information, visit
www.vansonbourne.com

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