Morten Illum - Jacob Chacko - Network-as-a-Service - NaaS - Middle East & South Africa - TECHXMEDIA

A rising interest in Network-as-a-Service across 86% of companies in Middle East & South Africa

Middle East And Africa

A new study from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, reveals a growing interest in Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) as technology leaders across the Middle East and South Africa (MESA) re-evaluate their current infrastructure and network setup in light of the sustained digital transformation required to navigate the post-COVID world.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, the need for agility and flexibility in network management is greater than ever,”said Morten Illum, Vice President, EMEA at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

He added, “We know that NaaS can ensure the critical flexibility needed by businesses as they look to recovery and beyond, as well as solve a range of issues from security and scalability to budget and team constraints. However, in order for businesses to unlock the potential of NaaS, we must focus on bridging the gap between awareness and knowledge.”

Jacob Chacko, Regional Director, Middle East, Saudi & South Africa at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company said, “As device counts grow, endpoints diversify, and connectivity demands increase, planning a network and keeping up with change can be overwhelming. Enterprises need the flexibility of cloud agility, security, scale, and compliance from their network – which is what NaaS provides.”

NaaS is a notion that 86 percent of firms in MESA are now debating in some form. It is defined in the poll as when a company has over 50 percent of its network deployment, operations, and life cycle management handled by a third party on a subscription basis. In fact, it is a topic of frequent discussion in about one-third of all businesses (29 percent ).


When asked about the reasons for their interest, financial efficiency emerged as one of the most anticipated benefits, with nearly three quarters (69%) of MESA respondents anticipating NaaS to help them save money on operations, and 58 percent believing it may enable a move from CapEx to OpEx. Flexibility, both in terms of the network and team time, was also a major factor.

Over three-quarters (82%) of businesses think that the ability to scale their network based on business demands is important, and 43% regard it as a game changer in how they handle activities. Meanwhile, less than half of respondents (48%) believe NaaS will help businesses lower IT staffing levels, rather than freeing up team time for innovation and strategic initiatives (42%).


The demand for NaaS is clear. Unfortunately, the path to implementation appears to be less apparent, with the poll identifying a number of significant roadblocks.

Internal processes appear to be the problem on the surface. Budget rules and investment cycles (80 percent), redeploying talent and skills (52 percent), and finding the budget were among the main concerns mentioned by MESA technology leaders (52 percent ).

However, a closer examination of the data indicates a much more fundamental problem: a lack of general knowledge about NaaS. While all IT leaders in the EMEA region claimed they are aware with the phrase NaaS, just two out of five said they completely get what it entails. Only 46% of technology leaders in EMEA firms are addressing NaaS on a regular basis.

This knowledge gap is also reflected in people’s perceptions about NaaS’s viability. NaaS is now viewed as an established and viable option by 7% of MESA’s technology leaders. The rest either think it’s a concept seeking for a market (41 percent) or that it’s still in its early stages (52 percent ).


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