Who Says the Future Is Inevitable? The Shift to Bandwidth on Demand Can Future-Proof Your Network Against the Challenges of Tomorrow

If you already know what your business will look like a year from now—what the market demand will be, how your customers will respond, and the technologies that will be available to serve them—then you can stop reading now. For the rest of you who struggle with delivering the right networking solutions and applications—at the right time, in the right place, and at the best cost—read on!

Enterprises rely on their networks to support nearly every facet of their business and operations—from managing processes such as inventory and production, supporting employees onsite and remotely, deploying and monitoring business-critical applications to even delivering their service to their customers. Added to that complexity is the fact that the needs of the business and the demands placed upon the networks are never static or predictable.

To meet these dynamic and fluctuating demands—not to mention the emerging technologies being developed to meet them (I’m looking at you, cloud services)—enterprises need networks that are as dynamic, agile, and scalable as they are fast, reliable, and secure.

Cloudifying Network Services

In addition to playing such a critical role in an enterprise’s business operations, the network could represent an organization’s single largest investment and ongoing cost center. Physical network infrastructure is costly to build and maintain. And when network traffic fluctuates, scaling the network up or down or introducing new services can take time and add even more cost. Enterprises are learning that the old way of building a network doesn’t jibe with the realities of today’s dynamic network environment.

As a result, many organizations are migrating to software- and cloud-based networking architectures that allow them to do the following:

  • Scale network bandwidth on demand as usage fluctuates.
  • Spin-up new applications, services, and network where and when they’re needed most.
  • Manage their networks more efficiently so IT teams can focus on important networking strategies.

And it can all happen in real time without having to go through a long procurement and turn-up process.

Demystifying NaaS

One of those emerging cloud-based services that’s quickly gaining traction is Network-as-a-Service, or NaaS. NaaS can mean different things to different people. Is it a new way to architect your network? Is it a managed service? Or is it something else altogether?

Simply defined, NaaS is a cloud-native model in which an enterprise can buy, use, and manage network services in an entirely new, digitally enabled way. It’s a concept that is steadily gaining momentum as enterprises look to grow and manage their networks in a simple and cost-effective way.

According to Straits Research, the global NaaS market size was valued at $10.5 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $140 billion by 2030. Mordor Intelligence expects the NaaS market to grow by nearly 33% between 2021 and 2026.

So, what can NaaS do to help an organization achieve its desired business outcomes and continue its digital transformation?

Scale Your Network on Demand

Imagine a business that had a rich NaaS environment in place when the pandemic hit and how it could have responded to the rapid changes in work environments and network demand. That business could have turned down the networks at offices that suddenly had no employees, spun-up more UCC services for its newly remote employees, and scaled data center bandwidth for internet demand spikes coming from its customers.

And that’s just one example. As I mentioned, network traffic and the demands of the business are increasingly dynamic. NaaS offers the ability to scale the network up or down quickly and easily as the demands on the network fluctuate.

Deploy New Services and Applications Where and When They’re Needed

One of the traditional pain points of physical networks is that they’re hard to manage and have limited flexibility when it comes to upgrades or adding new services. In a NaaS environment, the organization can better manage its networking resources by reaching into the cloud for the bandwidth or other resources it needs, enabling it to innovate, deploy new services, and respond to changing needs of the business in near real time.

Control Network Costs Effectively

A NaaS solution can significantly reduce an organization’s networking costs by replacing physical hardware with software-based services. In addition, because the organization is shifting to a services consumption model versus a network investment model, the cost of subscribing to, or consuming, those services can be more flexible and easier to manage.

Some NaaS providers will offer a usage-based model where you only pay for the services and bandwidth you use. The main advantage to this model is that you have a very clear view of your monthly ROI. Other providers offer a monthly subscription model where you access NaaS services at a flat rate. This model makes budgeting and cost control more predictable, but you could potentially be paying for services you don’t use during periods of lower utilization.

Whether it’s a monthly subscription or a usage-based model, an organization can select the NaaS solution that makes the most sense and delivers the best long-term value based on its business needs.

Ensure Network Strength and Security

Even if an organization deploys a NaaS solution and doesn’t own and maintain its own network infrastructure, the networking services and bandwidth it consumes still reside on a physical network somewhere. It’s important that the NaaS solution provider has a reliable and dependable network to deliver bandwidth and services on demand, along with a commitment to security and quality of service to ensure it meets the needs of the business.

Remember, there are no shortcuts to network reliability. The good news is virtualized and cloud-native solutions like NaaS are making enterprise network evolutions easier and more cost-effective than traditional hardware-based networks.

The best NaaS solution will be one that is user-friendly, easily scalable, and delivers dependable performance, future-proofing networks against the unknown challenges of tomorrow.


Subscribe to Big Data Quarterly E-Edition