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Covid-19 powers cloud networking investment

IT leaders in EMEA have responded to the coronavirus crisis by investing more in cloud-based and AI-powered networking technologies, claims a new report from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

Preparing for the post-pandemic workplace claims that in order to support a hybrid workplace, in which people move seamlessly between working on campus, at home and on the road, IT leaders are shifting away from CapEx investments in network infrastructure towards solutions consumed ‘as a service’.

It predicts that the average proportion of IT services consumed via subscription will grow by 41% over the next two years, from 29% of the total today to 41% in 2022. Over the same period, the proportion of organisations that consume more than 50% of their IT solutions ‘as a service’ is expected to increase by approximately 74%.

Morten Illum, EMEA Vice President for Aruba, said: “The emergence of the hybrid workplace is pushing IT leaders to deliver a delicate balance between flexibility, security and affordability at the edge. To support new norms, such as social distancing and contactless experiences, office locations need to have the right technology in place to offer enterprise-level connectivity, security and support. All this must be done in an increasingly challenging financial environment, which is spurring the trend for IT decision-makers to opt for the reduced risk and cost advantages offered by a subscription model.”

Half of IT decision-makers in EMEA plan to explore new subscription models for hardware/software (50%), networking (50%), managed services (51%) and financial leasing (29%).

Despite short-term postponements and cancellations of networking projects since the onset of Covid-19, reported by 74% and 30% of global respondents respectively, most IT decision-makers plan to increase or maintain their networking investments:

*38% plan to increase investment in cloud-based networking solutions that allow remote network management at large scale, with 45% maintaining existing levels and 15% scaling back;
*34% plan to increase investment in analytics and assurance to troubleshoot and fine-tune the network, with 48% maintaining existing levels and 15% cutting back; and
*35% are planning to increase investment in AI-based networking technologies that automate repetitive tasks.

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