There were a multitude of reasons for Fraport AG, the operating company of Germany’s largest airport in Frankfurt, to build one of the largest European private 5G campus networks: automation, autonomous driving, localization of devices, and processing data in real time. Or as Fraport SVP of IT infrastructure Fritz Oswald puts it: “We definitely see 5G as a key technology for digitalization.”

The motivation to set up its own 5G infrastructure came less from the suffering of a legacy installation and more from the desire to enable new use cases during the digitization journey. At the same time, the network coverage will be extended to the entire airport area. This way, the nearly 30km of perimeter fencing could be monitored with cameras via radio. It would also be possible to spare robots or drones inspection rounds if they patrol independently with 5G support.

And according to Oswald, it’s difficult to adequately illuminate the airport’s large open spaces with the WLAN technology used up to now. “In everyday life, there are always problems with WLAN coverage during under-wing operations, for example, when aircraft wings block reception,” he says.

Oswald adds the importance of illumination for operation because when material or equipment have to be transported to an aircraft over long distances, it’s time-consuming for employees since the speed limit on the apron is 30 km/h. Autonomous vehicles controlled by 5G would help to alleviate this. Another use case could be small robots that transport delayed suitcases to the aircraft rather than be driven by people, as it’s done today. 

Another application is video analytics to visually check the condition of the airport’s runways. A task that, despite edge computing, generates large amounts of data through video streams, which are then transferred to the cloud.

New use cases

Even if new use cases such as autonomous vehicles, patrolling robots, and drones are the focus of the 5G introduction at Fraport, the new technology also brings other advantages like being able to standardize its communications infrastructure. So far, Fraport has operated different radio technologies for voice communication, or to network its IoT devices. Plus, long-term evaluations have been used via public mobile networks, with corresponding SIM cards in other end devices. In the future, though, Oswald intends to continue using WLANs in the terminals themselves, but there are plans to migrate to the more up-to-date and powerful WiFi 6.

“Here, we actually get a licensed frequency we don’t have to share with anyone, so there’s no interference,” he says. “And we can have full use of the allocated frequency band so we can also cover mission-critical topics with 5G.” 

Independence through private 5G

Because of this licensed frequency, network slicing offers from mobile operators were out of the question. As far as slicing is concerned, however, Oswald can imagine that Fraport will later offer its own slicing services for its B2B partners, such as airlines or logistics companies. “The bottom line is that having our own 5G network offers the airport more freedom and more security, because the infrastructure is in our hands end to end,” he says. “In addition, there are fewer dependencies and we control it when we import 5G updates. So we’re not dependent on a carrier and their update plans.” 

The project so far had a research and development phase at the start, which is why Fraport didn’t want to tackle the 5G migration alone, but instead brought in Japanese global telecommunications and technology services company NTT as a partner.

“One thing that spoke in favor of NTT was it had already been able to gain experience of best practices in other 5G projects, such as at Cologne Bonn Airport,” Oswald says.

Azure for 5G as software

Fraport and NTT were also open about the chosen technology approach. “Because we wanted to keep the option open of being able to make adjustments during the project phase, we opted for an open standard and chose OpenRAN as the 5G approach,” says Kai Grunwitz, CEO of NTT Ltd. in Germany. In terms of software, they rely on Azure for 5G, and among other things, the close connection with the IoT world spoke in favor of the Microsoft solution. 

Cisco was also chosen for the network hardware, although the partners are observing the market closely, especially when it comes to antennas, since a number of new developments are still expected. Both Grunwitz and Oswald emphasize that these decisions aren’t set, given that the technology is still in its infancy.

The new technology also had another consequence. Fraport quickly realized that a rollout without careful prior checking for interactions with the existing technology would be too great a risk for airport operations. This gave rise to the idea of ​​setting up a test environment in a kind of sandbox to ensure operations aren’t jeopardized.

At the same time, the test environment acts as an innovation hub to evaluate new use cases for 5G and how these can be rolled out later. There was also a third task: making the new technology visible and tangible for other employees in the company in order to reduce any resistance to 5G that may exist. That’s why Oswald deliberately chose an area around the company headquarters to promote the new use cases that are possible with 5G.

Push-to-talk in the network

So far, the airport operator has used several radio systems with corresponding radio devices, but maintenance is quite complex, which is why Oswald wants to map voice communication via the private 5G network in the future as well. 

“However, our employees in the operations area didn’t want to do without the familiar user experience of the radios because they’re used to just pressing a button and speaking immediately,” he says. What initially sounds insignificant is actually relevant and important in airport practice. And in tricky situations, it can be crucial from a safety perspective whether communication is established within milliseconds, or whether you have to wait for a phone call to be set up. Oswald wants to solve the problem by introducing a modern 5G-capable push-to-talk solution.

Division of labor

Considering the division of labor between Fraport and NTT, Fraport will act both formally and practically as the operator of the 5G network. “Ultimately, it’s also important to us that 5G isn’t seen somewhere as an isolated technology in the future, but is fully integrated into our operational processes,” says Oswald.

Also, Fraport, as a critical infrastructure company, has to ensure security across the entire process chain, from the end device to the backend systems. That’s what Oswald and his team already do by provisioning public 5G SIM cards themselves in the private network to ensure complete documentation. 

NTT also plans to continue their involvement in later operations and to support Fraport as part of a service concept with managed services, or to take over component maintenance. And according to Grunwitz, labor is divided based on a series of levels. “Topics that happen on the apron, such as the question of where and how antennas are operated or the end devices, are our responsibility, while NTT is responsible for the backend area, such as the cloud components, because at Fraport, we take a cloud-first approach,” says Oswald.

Project end 2024

A 2024 end date is understandably ambitious, considering how badly the pandemic crisis hit the airline industry, and Fraport specifically. As a result, the Private 5G project had to be put on hold. But when project work resumed in spring 2022, like many other companies, the company was confronted with supply chain problems of hardware manufacturers. Oswald, therefore, assumes that the entire 5G network won’t be fully expanded until the end of 2024. However, the rollout to the apron should already take place this year.

Cloud Management, Digital Transformation, IT Leadership, Private 5G

By: Shruthi Kalale Prakashan, Sr. Manager, Product Marketing, Aruba Central.

For many organizations large and small, the COVID-19 pandemic was the tipping point for cloud adoption. Unsurprisingly, more than half of enterprise IT spending in key market segments will shift to the cloud by 2025, according to Gartner. [1] As the cloud continues to play a key role in building resilience and enabling agility, the role of the network is more critical than ever before. However, the transformative benefits of cloud cannot be realized (or may even be negated!) without a modern network to support it.

How should IT organizations modernize their network management in response to new market pressures and how can a cloud-based approach help?

Four modern network management challenges

Today’s network is facing new market pressures, including:

Hybrid work becomes mainstream: According to Gartner, if an organization were to go back to a fully on-site arrangement, it would risk losing up to 39% of its workforce. [2] Enabling secure and efficient hybrid work is now table stakes for IT teams.Growing network complexity: Networks are growing in size and complexity, often leading to siloed network management with multiple, disjointed tools that result in a high rate of manual errors, alert fatigue, and downtime.Compliance and security: Securing the network is harder than ever before due to the rapid implementation of cloud-based services in response to the pandemic and the increasing adoption of IoT.Critical talent shortage: Organizations are increasingly struggling to recruit and retain talent with specialized skills. Only 12.5% of enterprises believe it is very easy to hire and retain skilled networking professionals. [3]

It comes as no surprise that network operations professionals believe they could reduce problems by nearly half if they had better network management tools. [4]

How can cloud-based network management help?

Cloud-based network management solutions are gaining traction as organizations seek to consolidate their tools, drive better efficiencies, and lower costs. In fact, IDC projects that half of all new implementations will rely on cloud-based network management.

Aruba’s cloud-based network management solution –

Aruba Central – is a powerful, scalable solution that offers a single point of visibility and control to oversee every aspect of wired and wireless LANs, WANs, and VPNs across campus, branch, remote, and data center locations. Built on a cloud-native, microservices-based modern architecture, Aruba Central is an AI-powered solution that simplifies IT operations, improves agility, reduces costs, and minimizes risk by unifying management of all network infrastructure.

Benefit 1: Improved agility

Zero-touch provisioning accelerates the process of onboarding, configuring, and provisioning network devices with a guided setup wizard, flexible configuration options, and an intuitive installer app.‘Single point of control’ that enables IT to stage configuration changes just once, instantly validate them and push the new settings to every applicable device across the network, eliminating device-by-device updates.Enhanced programmability with open APIs and webhooks makes it easy to integrate with other tools in the technology stack such as ServiceNow, Ansible, Slack and much more.

Benefit 2: Enhanced efficiency

AIOps and automation eliminate manual troubleshooting tasks, reduce average resolution time by as much as 90% for common network issues, and increase network capacity by as much as 25% through peer-based configuration optimization.User experience monitoring provides user and IoT device application assurance and rapid troubleshooting through easy-to-deploy Aruba User Experience Insight (UXI) sensors that simulate end-user activities with admin-defined frequency.Natural language search allows administrators to use natural language to search for and quickly find relevant contextual information, enabling rapid first-level triages of issues.

Benefit 3: Reduced cost

Unified management of wired, wireless and WAN networks eliminates the use of multiple management tools, additional appliances and associated administrative and licensing costs.Training and development costs are reduced as network teams do not need to learn different tools or spend cycles on patching and maintaining the solutionCost of Downtime and truck rolls are reduced through AI-based proactive identification and root-cause of issues before they become actual problems with business impact.

Benefit 4: Minimized risk 

AI-powered IoT visibility eliminates network blind spots and reduces the risk of cyberattacks by using ML-models to accurately identify and profile hard-to-detect IoT devices.Simplifies policy management and streamlines the adoption of Zero Trust security at global scale by using overlays based on widely adopted protocols such as EVPN/VXLAN.High availability with live firmware upgrades that can be scheduled during non-peak operation hours to reduce maintenance windows and ensure continuous operations, eliminating potential downtime.

Getting started with cloud-based network management

120,000+ customers worldwide are already making significant improvements to their network management and operations with Aruba Central. In a customer survey we conducted with TechValidate, nearly a third of Aruba Central customers reported that they’ve halved their previous networking costs and nearly two-thirds of surveyed customers are able to resolve network or user issues at least 50% faster.

Learn how you can modernize your network and evolve network management strategies with the Aruba Unified Infrastructure and Aruba Central.


[1] Enterprise IT Spending, Gartner, Feb 2022

[2] 9 Future of Work Trends Post Covid-19, Gartner, Jun 2022

[3], [4] Network Management Megatrends 2022, EMA, Apr 2022

This blog was published on on 01/16/23.

Cloud Management

Blackhawk Network is shaping the future of global branded payments — from QR code payment solutions and retail gift card programs to tailored incentives and reward programs. 

The Silicon Valley-based company has been expanding its global footprint through numerous creative acquisitions. While each brought a wealth of benefits, the acquired companies’ existing processes and platforms challenged Blackhawk Network’s ability to optimize and scale its go-to-market strategy. 

To address this issue, Blackhawk turned to TCS. With its extensive cloud experience, TCS transformed Blackhawk’s ERP and CRM systems in tandem, enabling the sales of one set of solutions and services to a global customer base at scale.  

In this case study, Blackhawk Network’s Cara Renfroe joins Tata Consultancy Services’ Rakesh Kumar and Nilendu Pattanaik to explain how TCS transformed the gift card company’s customer engagement and global operations on Microsoft Cloud.  

Read more. 

Cloud Computing, Financial Services Industry, IT Leadership

By: Larry Lunetta, VP Portfolio Solutions Marketing at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

As customer-centric innovators, we’re constantly looking at how we can better help businesses reach their goals by leveraging technology. That’s why hearing from them first-hand is so valuable.

This year, we kicked off our quest for insights with a survey run by Sapio Research.

Targeting 200 international business decision makers from organizations of 500 employees or more, its purpose was to gauge the C-suite’s understanding of where and how a network can deliver against modern business needs.

And what a set of needs businesses are facing in 2023—from enabling more immersive omnichannel customer journeys to creating bespoke data-led experiences, innovating to secure new revenue streams, weaving sustainability into operations, and much, much more.

The survey findings are telling: one in four business leaders have only a functional or limited understanding of the enterprise network’s true potential.

And this snapshot aligns with a far bigger trend we’re noticing across industries—business leaders need expert partners (both from within their IT teams and from vendors like HPE Aruba Networking) to help them leverage their network to produce innovative business outcomes, aligned to their specific, strategic digital transformation goals.

While business leaders want to innovate, other key findings reaffirm that the value of the network to help them do so is not well-understood:

While 93% agree their business’ technology needs have increased post-pandemic, 73% are concerned about their organization’s ability to keep up with the latest requirements.71% acknowledge that technology and enhanced digitalization are crucial to employees doing their jobs, however only 61% see the link between staff productivity and network advancements.Half of respondents believe access to data is fundamental to unlocking new revenue streams in the year ahead, but 53% aren’t aware of how the network could help drive this innovation.

High levels of digital transformation and innovation will define business success in 2023, which 81% of surveyed business leaders recognize. But almost a third anticipate moderate transformation at best. As the network is the proverbial on-ramp to the digital transformation freeway that stretches from edge to cloud, we believe that a more innovative, agile, optimized offering on this front will make all the difference.

With our results showing that only a quarter of respondents are planning to put budget behind their network infrastructure this year, there is clearly more to be done in demonstrating the network’s value as a business-driving asset in its own right.

Part of this is lies in how IT leaders frame their networking discussions—talking in terms of business outcomes versus technical specs. But it might also require a different approach to networking entirely.

Agile Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) can offer business leaders the flexibility and resilience to battle through the prevailing headwinds faced across industries—from budget and resource constraints, to the need to match network capacity to the ever changing business needs. While these leaders can’t be expected to have all the answers around networking, working with their IT teams to understand how NaaS can help them meet their business goals is the right first step. With the correct NaaS strategy (from acquisition to deployment and management) that fits their unique requirements, businesses can then fast-track a successful digital transformation.

Want to learn more? Check out our infographic.

IT Leadership

Figure 1: Source: IDC’s Future Enterprise Resiliency and Spending Survey, Wave 2, March 2022


For today’s teams, it is exceedingly complex and costly to support multiple generations of infrastructure and applications. What’s worse, according to an IDC report on network observability, this is the number one challenge to achieving digital transformation success.

The right data will lead you to the right root cause

The reality is that teams lost visibility and control when workloads started moving to cloud and SaaS environments. To get that visibility and control back, you need to be able to collect, correlate, and contextualize network and user experience data from all networks—whether you own the infrastructure or not.

Today, it is actually possible to realize complete network monitoring visibility, even across multiple generations of network infrastructure. You can establish unified views of bare metal infrastructures, VMs, and containers, even those hosted in ISP, cloud, and SaaS environments. 

In action: Full NetOps visibility and control

I recently caught up with an IT executive at a U.S.-based financial services institution. This organization provides services to banks all over the nation. When the organization began migrating services and workloads to the cloud and adapting to hybrid work realities, they realized they had an urgent network monitoring need. Customer and employee services were suddenly reliant upon internal corporate networks, ISPs, and cloud service providers. When customers and employees encountered downtime and performance issues, they needed to be able to quickly identify which domain the problem was arising in.

Their team was able to establish the comprehensive network monitoring capabilities outlined above, including across ISP networks, their data centers, and the cloud. Now, they’re tracking the user experience, no matter where customers or employees are located.

This visibility provided immediate dividends. For example, when a banking customer began reporting timeouts and latency issues, the financial service firm’s NetOps team was able to quickly identify the cause of the issue: a misconfigured load balancer running on the customer’s network. This is a great example of how teams can improve mean time to innocence (MTTI) when they have the right data in front of them. The NetOps team could quickly determine the issue wasn’t arising in their environment.

Not only does this provide significant improvement in operational efficiency and service levels, but it enables better, more proactive customer service. As a senior systems manager with the financial services firm stated, “We showed the customer that we really do care about them and their business, and we can continue to improve the outcomes our services provide.”


Everyone is talking about network observability today, but any industry analyst or seasoned IT veteran will agree: network observability is really just about having a network monitoring system that collects a complete and diverse set of network data and delivers actionable insights. By harnessing these capabilities, this financial services firm was able to improve network delivery, optimize the user experience, maintain business continuity, and achieve better business outcomes.

Click here to learn more.


By Serge Lucio, Vice President and General Manager, Agile Operations Division

This is a continuation of Broadcom’s blog series: 2023 Tech Trends That Transform IT.  Stay tuned for future blogs that dive into the technology behind these trends from more of Broadcom’s industry-leading experts.

Enterprise networks are undergoing a profound transformation. These changes are being driven by growing SaaS adoption, increasing workload migration to the cloud, and the need to support the expanding number of employees who work-from-anywhere.

Traditional enterprise wide area networks, or WANs were designed primarily to connect remote branch offices directly to the data center. They rely on centralized security performed by backhauling traffic through the corporate data center, which impairs application performance and makes them expensive and inefficient. More importantly, WANs lack the flexibility and scalability that digital business requires.

Unlike traditional enterprise WANs, Software-Defined Wide Area Network, or SD-WAN technology meets the complex requirements for fast, reliable access to cloud-based resources. For example, SD-WAN technology makes it possible for an enterprise employee to successfully connect to Microsoft 365 from home. Policy-based routing dynamically determines the best path for optimal performance as it traverses multiple internet service providers and systems for network access, SASE secured connectivity, and cloud network access, before reaching the data center server where Microsoft 365 is running.

But SD-WAN’s reliance on the Internet can introduce new challenges, and new requirements for network observability and monitoring. Every ISP and system in the complex network path between users and cloud-based resources is a potential point of failure, most of which enterprise network operations teams do not own, manage, or even have visibility into.

On January 25, a minor error in a routine configuration change to a router at Microsoft caused a global network outage. This one minor error resulted in widespread connectivity issues for 90 minutes, leaving customers unable to reach Microsoft Teams, Outlook, SharePoint, and other applications. Situations like this can present a troubleshooting nightmare for enterprise network operations teams who need to address complaints from users, but don’t have complete end-to-end visibility of the entire network path from the user to the data center.

Looking Ahead: How I See Network Operations Evolving

I believe that in 2023, SaaS adoption, workload migrations to cloud, and work-from-home initiatives will continue to drive enterprise network transformation. The internet will become an even more integral component of the enterprise networks as organizations continue to augment or replace their legacy WANs by using SD-WAN technology to build high-performance chains of connectivity from lower-cost and commercially available Internet access.

As enterprises continue to transform and modernize their networks to better meet the needs of digital business, they will need a new approach to network observability, and requirements for  in-depth analysis and actionable insights will become increasingly critical.

In 2023 and beyond, effective network operations (NetOps) will demand more extensive coverage of user experience metrics than ever before. Network monitoring needs will expand beyond traditional managed networks to encompass unmanaged third-party networks. Experience-driven NetOps approaches will proliferate and become more tightly aligned with the network. Here’s more on how this transformation will progress.

User Experience Monitoring Will Become Imperative

In response to the increasingly complex connectivity demands of digital business, network architectures continue to evolve, and user experience monitoring has become an essential data source for NetOps. This is not surprising, since customer satisfaction and employee productivity remain in the top three business priorities for many organizations. For the network team, it’s no longer just about the traditional approach to monitoring network health. Teams need real-time insight into the state of the network and how changing network conditions are affecting  user experience so they can react quickly and ensure the delivery of consistent and high-quality network services to support that digital business success.

Monitoring Will Expand to the Edge and Beyond

As digital transformation goes to full throttle, network operations must align with the business more quickly and closely. With nearly half of enterprise workloads projected to be deployed in cloud infrastructure this year, NetOps team responsibilities will extend to both the networks they own and the ones they don’t – including third-party networks like home networks, ISP networks, and cloud environments. This extension will address the visibility and control blind spots that teams confront with cloud and multi-cloud networking.

Experience-Driven Approaches Will Advance

Teams’ increasing need for better visibility and control of both managed and unmanaged networks will drive adoption of Experience-Driven Network Observability and Management solutions and approaches. With this approach, the network team can understand, manage, and optimize the performance of digital services, regardless of the network they may be running on and gain visibility into every communication path and degradation point for the entire user experience delivery chain.

The adoption of experience-driven approaches will increase as organizations seek to improve their ability to monitor and measure the user experience. Gartner expects that by 2026 at least 60% of I&O leaders will use Digital Experience Monitoring to measure application, services and endpoint performance from the user’s viewpoint, up from less than 20% in 2021.

Applying active and continuous measurements can help network teams dramatically improve the network operations workflow. With these capabilities, they can effectively reduce false alarms, validate change and compliance, establish reliable visibility, and boost automation.

Monitoring Will Fuse Better With the Network

Experience-driven network monitoring tools and practices will become a seamless part of the network, translating volumes of disparate data (across network device performance, network and internet paths, alarms/faults/logs/configs, Cloud and SaaS application performance, network traffic flows and user experience metrics) into actionable insights about the current and future state of a network.

Outcomes That Matter

Moving forward, NetOps teams will be expected to deliver more value for the business, so they need to actively monitor and manage the network. By doing so, they’ll gain the detailed intelligence and actionable insights they need to assure network service delivery, and help the business reduce risks, optimize cost and resource efficiency, and boost revenue opportunities.

By delivering the right insights to the right team, they can quickly find and fix issues to improve mean time to resolution (MTTR) of network issues or prove the innocence (MTTI) of the network, while enabling the right team to address the issue. NetOps teams will then be able to proactively prevent network problems before they degrade user experience and derail the business.

Your Next Steps

This year, your organization’s success will be increasingly reliant upon the success of transformation initiatives in such areas as cloud, SaaS, and digitization. The question then becomes “How do you know if your network is ready for the emerging demands of the digital business?” NetOps teams play a critical role in helping these initiatives – and the business – succeed in 2023. Having unified insights to relevant network and digital experience metrics allows these teams to ensure that modern networks deliver optimized user experiences.

Broadcom can help boost your organization’s ability to manage evolving requirements for modern network technologies and support your current and future transformation initiatives. Visit our Experience-Driven NetOps page  to learn more about how we are helping enterprise NetOps teams around the world to break down monitoring data silos, expedite issue remediation, and reduce operational complexities.

To learn more about how Broadcom predicts that in 2023, effective network operations (NetOps) will demand better end-to-end visibility, including more extensive coverage of user experience metrics than ever before, read the report here

About Serge Lucio:

Broadcom Software

Serge Lucio is Vice President and General Manager of the Agile Operations Division at Broadcom. He is responsible for the company’s software solutions that help organizations to accelerate digital transformation and drive organizational agility.

IT Leadership, Networking

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.


Remote and hybrid work is here to stay. In an increasingly complex security environment, no challenge looms larger than how to protect remote devices that tie back into the corporate network.

In fact, modernizing networking technologies ranks among the top IT goals for 2022 according to an IDG survey conducted on behalf of Insight Enterprises. 

With more users working remotely, tools and processes designed for corporate networks are less effective for endpoint protection, leaving IT teams scrambling to keep their users protected. By some estimates, cybercrime could cost companies an estimated $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

When polled, CIO Experts Network of IT professionals and industry analysts stressed the need for employee buy-in, as well as a commitment to device management and endpoint security.

Most importantly, however, is building a strong security culture that encourages best practices across the organizations. The IDG survey found that 36% of respondents say that mitigating risk with stronger cybersecurity programs is a top objective for 2022. 

According to several influencers, that requires acceptance and buy-in from leadership:

“Corporations should look at homes as an extension of their organization’s boundaries. Which means that the same/similar tools, technologies, processes, and safeguards should be taken into consideration for people working from home.”

— Arsalan.A.Khan (@ArsalanAKhan), a tech advisor

“All devices, regardless of home use or business use, should incorporate cyber security and accessibility. It is critical to understand any potential security issues that might crop up on their home networks. Creating processes that incorporate these best practices will help you keep your employees’ technology and devices safe.”

— Debra Ruh (@debraruh), Ruh Global IMPACT and Executive Chair of Billion Strong

“When someone says, ‘do as I say, not as I do,’ it means they are a hypocrite. Security hypocrisy is when firms don’t enforce the same level of security controls for remote workers as they do on-premises. Firms serious about security must ensure that remote users follow the same robust security controls their onsite brethren do.”

— Ben Rothke (@benrothke), Senior Information Security Manager at Tapad

When leadership takes protecting remote devices connecting to the corporate network seriously, there are three simple steps to take to build a robust security framework for their network. 

“There are three device attack protection vectors to consider: the user, their applications, and the network,” says Adam Stein(@apstein2), Principal at APS Marketing. “For the user, keep up to date with ongoing security threats that could possibly impact their work at home. The user’s applications also need regular updating for ideal end-point protection.” 

Building Employee Trust and Buy-In

Security is only as strong as its weakest link. For Gene Delibero (@GeneDeLibero), CSO at, ensuring strong security requires a strong security culture that educates and empowers workers.

“First, and perhaps most important, is creating a culture of accountability around security; it’s not just the company’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem,” says Delibero (@GeneDeLibero). “Organizations can’t expect remote employees to execute security measures effectively when they haven’t been trained on the company’s security policies.”

Steve Prentice (@cloudtweaksteve), a technology integration specialist, argues that truly dedicated organizations should build an entirely new architecture to make sure remote workers, and their devices, are up to the task. “This should become a new branch of internal IT security — specifically investigating, securing, and even penetrating the home offices of employees the same way as is done in an office. Employers should treat their employees’ home workspace and mobile technologies as branch offices — still a less expensive option than paying for building floor space, cubicles, etc.”

Isaac Sacolik (@nyike), President of StarCIO and author of “Digital Trailblazer,” adds that building a security culture should go hand in hand with building a positive work environment. “It all starts with the mindset and practices aimed at improving productivity and supporting work-life balance through flexible remote and hybrid work technology options. As employees gain trust with IT, they’re more open to learning and improving security, including locking down home networks, protecting data, and following IT’s recommendation on protecting devices.”

Securing Individual Devices 

After earning buy-in from employees, organizations still need to secure their devices. 

“Organizations should invest in a combination of asset management, endpoint detection, data loss prevention, cloud-based managed detection and response, and patch or vulnerability management,” says Kayne Mcgladrey (@kaynemcgladrey), Field CISO at Hyperproof and Senior IEEE Member. “Of those, asset management is the starting point, as an organization should have visibility into the devices accessing corporate data and be able to select and apply appropriate controls to those devices. Those controls then may include endpoint protection or data loss protection, for example, if exfiltration of sensitive corporate data may result in compliance violations.” 

Employing this strategy empowers an organization’s IT team to protect the corporate network from a wide range of threats, according to Will Kelly (@willkelly), a writer and analyst. “My best advice for protecting at home devices starts with a solid and robust mobile device management (MDM) solution and supporting processes. An MDM automates operating system updates, security patches, virus scanning, application updates, and device security configuration, such as setting a lock screen.”

Jack Gold (@jckgld), President and Principal Analyst at J.Gold Associates, LLC., takes that one step farther. “It’s important to segregate work at home devices from other users in the family. You probably don’t want your kids playing games or web surfing on the PC you use for doing work. That could be enforced by giving workers a corporate furnished — and managed — PC exclusively for their use.”

Ensuring Endpoint Security

Kieran Gilmurray (@KieranGilmurray), CEO at Digital Automation and Robotics Limited, feels that securing the corporate network relies on implementing quality endpoint security practices. 

“Threat actors have taken advantage of the pandemic by targeting unsuspecting remote workers. Every ‘at home’ network connected device is a potential entry point for criminal activity,” says Gilmurray. “So now, employees are provided with a secure VPN between their home network and their corporate offices. The only way to protect remote devices is to apply best practice corporate ‘endpoint’ security practices to every device attached to a home network.”

To compensate, organizations can take a strategic approach that prioritizes high risk accounts and devices. Peter Nichol (@PeterBNichol), Chief Technology Officer at OROCA Innovations instructs to “Start with what the employer can control. Be sure to prioritize energy around high-risk endpoints. Specifically, privileged accounts or accounts with elevated access should be managed within privileged access management (PAM). Companies who act on endpoint security today will save themselves big headaches tomorrow.”

Robust endpoint security helps reinforce human weaknesses in the corporate network, says Frank Cutitta (@fcutitta), CEO & Founder HealthTech Decisions Lab. “The human vulnerability overpowers any technological protection one can install. We’re always just one errant click away from ransom or breach. While it sounds incredibly obvious, setting your computer to lock after a short period of time can also minimize external access along with changing passwords frequently. Face or fingerprint recognition software adds added security.”

While endpoint security is an important part of a robust security apparatus, it won’t protect an organization’s corporate network on its own. “Some advanced precautions might seem like overkill for a home office, but not if we view the home office as a mere extension of the corporate network,” says Scott Schober (@ScottBVS), President/CEO at Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc. “Endpoint visibility and detection at each home office allows IT to view the actual number of endpoints that need protection.” 

The ultimate answer may come via strong partnerships: The same IDG/Insight survey found that 87% of respondents will rely on third-party providers for support with challenges around infrastructure, operations, and culture. 

“‘Endpoint anything,’ including protection that is based with on-premises technology, is limited in what it can do and what it can reach in today’s world. On-premises requires a lot of extra configuration and cost to support devices that are mostly remote when compared to a cloud-based solution in which touching or accessing a device from any location is just native with minimal infrastructure,” says Joseph Flynn, Director of Modern Workplace at Insight. “Endpoint security is harder to drive XDR types of services in an on-premises solution, as AI is usually in play. This tends to drive much of the automation and protection to streamline and increase capabilities. Having those capabilities on-premises in most tools is not possible unless they connect to some cloud platform”

Insight Enterprises, Inc. is a Fortune 500 solutions integrator helping organizations accelerate their digital journey to modernize their business and maximize the value of technology. Insight’s technical expertise spans cloud- and edge-based transformation solutions, with global scale and optimization built on 34 years of deep partnerships with the world’s leading and emerging technology providers.

Chrome Enterprise Upgrade (CEU) from Insight provides a simple and secure way to manage your devices. Try for free today

Data and Information Security

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For many enterprises, the pandemic involved rapidly deployed ways of enabling remote working. Today, the need for long-term solutions means that hybrid working is one of the top three trends driving network modernization – as reflected in the 2022-23 Global Network Report published by NTT.

According to the survey data for this report, 93% of CEOs agree that even if their staff return to the physical workplace, they will provide an expanded remote or hybrid-working policy.

But even though hybrid working is here to stay, organizations may still lack the cybersecurity controls and business-grade internet connections, like SD-WAN, that are required to support remote and hybrid workers. The burden on the network grows even as some employees start returning to the office.

The report flags three ways in which CIOs and CTOs are reshaping the physical workplace to meet these new demands:

Increasing Wi-Fi density and speed for seamless connectivity and high-bandwidth applicationsConverging information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) networksProviding modern meeting rooms and devices with high-resolution video

However, the impact of these increased burdens on enterprise networks isn’t always widely appreciated. Amit Dhingra, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Networking at NTT, says: “Nobody expected it. But the requirement on the network is increasing because even when we go into the office, we spend much of the day on high-definition video calls.

“The network was never built for that. It was built for in-person collaboration within the office, not virtual collaboration. But in the workplace, we have all become guzzlers of bandwidth in a way we were not before the pandemic.”

In the Global Network Report survey, 97% of CIOs and CTOs say that hybrid working leads to a higher demand for network connectivity, generated by both home and remote working.

The result: network managers now need to ensure that networks are both fit for remote working and able to cope with the demands of high bandwidth consumption in the workplace.

The survey also shows that 93% of CIOs and CTOs believe the campus network is the most critical element to enabling a resilient hybrid workplace.

On top of these challenges, Matthew Allen, Vice President, Service Offer Management – Networking at NTT, identifies a further difficulty. “Once you’ve got distributed employees all over the place, how does IT get visibility? How are those users accessing their systems? Are they performing to standard? If employees are not able to access key business systems no matter where they are, you have an issue. Lack of visibility is really one of the key problems that we have encountered.”

NTT’s recipe for hybrid working begins with zero trust network architecture, identity management and multifactor authentication. There’s also the requirement for a seamless transition between different work environments, says Allen: “Everyone returns to the office, carries their company laptop if they’ve got one, carries their phone, carries their watch, carries whatever. If I’m connecting all of these things at home, I want to be able to walk into my office and connect in a similar way without too much drama. If the underpinning technology enables that experience, this becomes a way to start bringing people back into offices.”

Finally, there’s the need to consider access technologies. Dhingra says: “It’s wireless-first if you ask us, perhaps wireless-only campus connectivity. Gone are the days when you used to have lots of fixed LAN cables. This is true in offices, and it’s true in factories too. This, combined with wireless access, enables manufacturers to rejig assembly lines within days, rather than months.”

Enabling productivity and effective collaboration amid hybrid working has become one of the top five business objectives for organizations, the Global Network Report shows. After what was – in many cases – a frantic transition at the start of the pandemic, it’s clear that a good deal more work remains to be done before enterprises can claim to have laid the foundations for a long-term hybrid-working strategy.

NTT’s Global Network Report takes stock of how networks are evolving, organizations’ preparedness for these changes and how they will adapt their networks to these new demands.

Download the 2022–23 Global Network Report