By: Cathy Won, Consultant with eTeam, HPE Aruba Contributor.

The Future of Work and the Workplace is a 2023 Leesman survey report co-authored by HPE Aruba. The report explores the critical questions on the minds of business leaders coming out of the pandemic today. What is the future of work and the workplace? How must organizations adapt?

Unsurprisingly, the report revealed that 94% of corporate real estate leaders surveyed indicated that they are making changes, with 55% indicating that means making minor physical changes to the workplace and 39% indicating it means making a major change to the workplace.

Many of the physical changes to the workplace call for reconfiguring office space as hybrid work becomes the new normal. With a reduction in real estate footprint, today’s offices will change from permanent office space for individuals to shared spaces for individuals. New requirements for the configuration of offices and conference rooms are a part of an ever-changing landscape in the future of work and workplaces. Many organizations can take advantage of these changes to modernize their technologies and infrastructure. The opportunity is timely for organizations to re-evaluate their network infrastructure as the shift occurs to address a new work paradigm. 

The big shift to hybrid work was an instant change at the onset of the pandemic for many, dictated by new rules put in place to address the safety of employees. With hybrid work making such a significant impact on the future of work, it is no surprise that network infrastructure change is inevitable for today’s new reality. The shift to hybrid work created a major shift in ensuring the same kind of accessibility for workers whether they were in the office or working from home. The various factors of remote access come into play, where at the end of the day, the objective was to ensure an equivalent service level of accessibility, connectivity, and security to enable the most efficient ways for workers to accomplish their job regardless of their location. 

Technology advances in networking today are also occurring at a faster pace than ever before, sometimes leaving organizations bootstrapped with limited capital to adjust to the fast-changing landscape. So, redesigning for the future workplace is the perfect trigger to re-evaluate your current network infrastructure. Coupled with today’s business dynamics, most organizations find this time the most optimal to modernize their network to meet growing and evolving needs. An increasingly viable approach for keeping workplace network infrastructure aligned with the acceleration in changing workplace requirements is network as a service (NaaS). 

Why NaaS?

NaaS enables companies to implement a network infrastructure that will evolve with time, providing the flexibility to adapt to business needs as time evolves. With NaaS, companies can focus on business outcomes and service level objectives for their network and the accessibility required for their community of workers, partners, and customers. NaaS eliminates organizations having to worry about keeping up with the pace of technology change by relying on the strength and expertise of their implementation partner. NaaS eliminates large upfront capital expenditure investments that often go into new network infrastructure design, planning, and implementation with a monthly subscription-based or flexible consumption model, alleviating the financial impact on rebuilding a new workplace environment. NaaS enables more flexibility by not tying the organization down to specific hardware or capital investments that may eventually become obsolete. 

Additionally, NaaS enables the ability to flex down requirements should real estate space strategies change. If the services are completely outsourced, organizations can free themselves from keeping up with technology and training resources to support changes moving forward.

Given the many uncertainties and lessons learned from the pandemic, the one inevitable thing is change. One solution that is almost synonymous with change in network infrastructure is network as a service (NaaS), which enables organizations to maintain and revolutionize their network infrastructure to support their desired service level indefinitely without large capital investments.

For more data-driven insights derived from 75,000 workers on what the future of the workplace holds, read the eBook, Powering Hybrid Work 2023, and the full Aruba/Leesman report as listed above, The Future of Work and the Workplace.


By: Scott Dennehy, Edge Innovation at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company

As the adoption of cloud and other as-a-service offerings has accelerated in recent years, so has the number of acronyms used to describe these offerings. In some cases, the acronyms are used interchangeably, confusing the service that is being delivered and consumed.

Let’s look at 3 prime examples:

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)Network-as-a-Service (NaaS)

SaaS is defined as any software application delivered and accessed via the cloud in a subscription-based offering. SaaS spans a variety of internet-based applications every day, with popular CRM tools like Salesforce and HR apps like Workday, representing good examples of this.

IaaS is defined as the use of IT hardware and software infrastructure components like compute power or storage, utilized through the cloud in a flexible consumption or subscription-based model. Like SaaS, it is an all-inclusive category that can span the entire IT infrastructure portfolio from compute to storage to networks. Examples include Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

NaaS is different from SaaS and IaaS because it relates only to networking functionality, (i.e., networking hardware, software, and services) delivered in a “cloud-like” motion, which implies subscription-based or consumption-based billing. Sometimes the term NaaS is expanded to include the outsourcing of day-to-day operations and management of a network environment to a third party, such as a networking vendor or partner.

This is where it can get confusing. For example, enterprise network management platforms (e.g., Aruba Central) delivered and consumed via the cloud are sometimes considered NaaS, as they are a form of networking technology that is delivered and consumed as a service. These platforms meet the technical definition of SaaS and must be included as part of a broader subscription-based offering that also includes networking hardware, additional software, and service components to be considered NaaS.

Some consider the networking resources included in AWS or Azure subscriptions a form of NaaS; but, these offerings meet the technical definition of IaaS, as the networking resources are not decoupled from compute and storage.

Various forms of NaaS have existed for many years, such as the network connectivity provided by telecommunications companies or the managed networking services provided by Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Now, a new form of NaaS is emerging, whereby networking vendors are offering solutions in a subscription-based model, either directly to end customers or through channel partners.

All of these are reasons why in a recent research study conducted by IDC1, more than one-third of respondents claim to have already deployed NaaS, with another 35% saying they plan to deploy NaaS within the next two years.

Want to learn more about NaaS and how Aruba can help you get started on your NaaS journey? Visit

1Source: IDC Infobrief sponsored by HPE Aruba Networks, Network as a Service: State of the Market, Doc # US48889622, Mar 2022


By: Amrita Shergill, Account Manager, NaaS and Ecosystem Sales at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.

Post pandemic trends have accelerated the need for agility in IT, network procurement, and management. IT procurement cycles have accelerated and investments have increased – much more than pre-COVID. According to a IDC1, 71 percent of organizations report their long-term planning cycles have shortened due to COVID-19, with 82 percent of the same participants stating that long-term planning cycles have been reduced to two years or less. 

In addition, the post-COVID world has seen the hybrid workplace become the new norm. With a majority of employees splitting their time between the home office and workplace, managing and securing the enterprise inside and outside its boundaries in a flexible and scalable manner is a priority. 

To address this requirement and ensure seamless connectivity, organizations are rapidly adopting consumption-driven NaaS models to balance the cost of their network growth with the digital experience of their stakeholders.

Organizations are also looking to accelerate connectivity to edge locations while easing the burden of managing those new locales. They require simple platforms that enable rapid access to new technology to ensure the network meets the needs of their business. 

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) technology, and flexible consumption models like network-as-a-service (NaaS) make it possible for organizations to respond effectively to these challenges. IDC’s research also revealed that approximately one third of organizations have deployed NaaS and another 35 percent plan to deploy NaaS within the next one to two years.

Moving Towards an “Experience” Economy

Organizations are no longer looking to purchase just network hardware and software; rather, they are seeking to provide customers and users with an experience that offers:

A best-in-class agile network solution with richer levels of visibility and cross-platform control including centralized management and AI/ML capabilities for seamless and efficient network operation. Technology that minimizes operational risk and provides advanced data management and protection that spans the entire edge-to-core continuum.An optimized network planning experience along with scalability and sustainability built-in, and a simple monthly payment with no upfront capital expenditure. Additionally, the NaaS provider removes the traditional challenges of managing/operating networks. 

The traditional method of purchasing based on price and product features is outdated. Organizations should embrace value-based decision making that focuses on the business objectives and that benefits for the various stakeholders (technology, operations, procurement, finance, security, data analytics, environment, etc.) who all have a vested interest in the network.These stakeholders, primarily the C-suite, should measure investments in terms of money, risk, and time, as well as make decisions based on a solid understanding of the return on investment (ROI).

Transitioning to Business Value 

The transition from purchasing based on price and features requires a new approach, one that is focused on business challenges, outcomes, and value. This approach provides a variety of benefits, such as:

Receiving an integrated solution to address current and future business requirements, by having stakeholders work with teams they wouldn’t traditionally interact with.Obtaining more insight into hidden costs (e.g., planning and downtime, overtime, expedited freight) associated with your current network, along with specific business processes to be avoided.Developing a laser focus on business objectives, risks, and digital strategy with detailed contributions from the economic buyer and executivesSecuring investment validation and substantiation of solution by having the economic buyer and executives contribute to the process earlier

To learn more about NaaS, go to

To learn more about Value Management, please contact

1Source: IDC InfoBrief sponsored by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, Network as a Service: State of the Market, Doc # US48894322, Mar 2022

IT Leadership

By: Amrita Shergill, Account Manager, NaaS and Ecosystem Sales

COVID-19’s disruption of traditional business models has paved the way for long overdue business operational changes. Declining revenues, along with the burden of growing fixed cost during Covid, induced lockdowns and eroded margins. Due to these tough conditions, organizations required working capital to keep the lights on.

In response to these adverse circumstances, businesses increasingly adopted technology and an asset-light model to navigate these market challenges. Network as a Service (NaaS) supports the asset-light model by using operating expenses (OPEX) in a pay-per-use manner, and transferring technology, people and processes to a vendor/partner that is a specialist in its respective field. 

NaaS allows organizations to focus on its core business and maximize profits and shareholder value. Organizations can also move from a fixed to a variable cost structure. Research from Ernst & Young LLP1shows asset-light companies have outperformed their peers on total shareholder return over the last five years.


Drivers, Challenges and Solutions for Executing an Asset-light Strategy

In February 2021 Ernst & Young conducted an asset-light strategy webcast poll, which included responses from more than one thousand C-suite executives. Fifty six percent (56%) of respondents agreed that digitization and innovation are key drivers for considering an asset-light strategy. However, many reported that finding the right partner is the biggest challenge in executing the asset-light strategy. 

Having a world-class network is the cornerstone of any successful digital strategy, and companies are looking for a partner that can provide a complete network solution (hardware, security, software, services) to help simplify operations, optimize resources, realize network and security convergence, and improve the user experience. 

Responding to this market need, IT vendors have introduced innovative solutions with NaaS that deliver high-performance, end-to-end network solutions in a simple monthly payment model—with no upfront capital expenditure.

Today there is a heightened demand for different types of network consumption. To embrace an asset-lite strategy, companies must consider new ways of paying for and operating their networks and provide flexibility in how customers consume their services. NaaS can help rapidly deploy and manage networks in a more elastic way. 

To learn more about NaaS and how HPE GreenLake for Aruba can support business agility through an asset-lite model, go to


Ernst & Young, “How asset-light strategies and models can boost business growth,” November 2021Networking