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enterprise survey

What will drive enterprise adoption of NaaS?

Survey insights

Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) are subscription-based network services for enterprise customers. While they might include the delivery, setup, and configuration of network connectivity hardware and software, the benefits of NaaS go above and beyond the services delivered. Namely, enterprises can improve network security, network performance, service levels, and cost savings. But how prepared are enterprises to adopt an as-a-service model for their telecom services needs?

Nokia and Pulse surveyed technology leaders from 100 enterprises to understand the key benefits they would expect to derive from NaaS, the barriers that could prevent adoption, and the top services they would be likely to purchase.

Data collected from Jan. 28 - Feb. 14, 2021 | Respondents: 100 enterprise technology leaders

Almost half of enterprises surveyed plan to purchase NaaS to achieve business benefits

47% of enterprise technology leaders say their companies plan to adopt NaaS, including 10% who have purchased NaaS services already. Only 14% of all respondents said their organizations have no plans to purchase NaaS services.

Does your organization currently purchase or plan to purchase applications and services through a NaaS offering?


While respondents indicate IT would most benefit from NaaS, nearly half report operations (46%) and engineering (40%) are requesting or would also benefit from these services.

Which of the following internal departments are most frequently requesting or would most benefit from NaaS applications?


These leaders say the most important benefits when considering a NaaS offering are enhanced network security (62%), optimized network performance (58%), and guaranteed service levels (48%). While security is top of mind, simplified operations is still of considerable importance.

How important would each of the following benefits be in your decision to purchase NaaS services?

The most appealing NaaS features or characteristics are network security and bandwidth-on-demand

Of the enterprises who either plan to adopt NaaS or are undecided about their purchasing plans, most indicated network security (74%) would be the most appealing feature or characteristic, followed by bandwidth-on-demand (47%)

How appealing would your organization find each of the following NaaS services?

Even if enterprises are currently planning on investing in NaaS, there are some challenges that could impede adoption—namely, unproven or unconvincing business benefits (20%) and lack of support or maintenance by their communication service provider (CSP) (19%).

What are the three most significant barriers that could prevent your organization from purchasing NaaS services?


Comparatively, the barriers preventing the implementation of NaaS change when organizations are either undecided or not planning to invest in the services. CSPs can address these barriers through marketing, ROI tools, and other forms of education.

Top barriers for enterprises that are undecided or not planning to invest in NaaS


Although there has been increasing emphasis on service ordering portals, most respondents say they would prefer to purchase NaaS through a service provider’s direct sales team (56%).

Through which of the following channels would you prefer to purchase NaaS?

An opportunity to bring enterprise and network together with API’s

An emerging NaaS innovation area is in network APIs, which would allow developers to access and embed CSP network data and actions into their applications.

While purchasing NaaS through a service provider—like a CSP—is the preferred channel, 19% of enterprise leaders don’t believe their current CSP can satisfy their need to embed/integrate telecommunications into the organization’s applications, operations, products, and services.

Do you agree that today's communication service providers (CSPs) are able to meet your organization's need to embed or integrate telecommunications into your applications, operations, products, and services (e.g., using APIs)?


Of the technology leaders who don’t believe their CSP can meet their telecommunication integrations needs, most say their CSPs must offer a wide choice of programmable functions, enable a testing environment/sandbox, and offer competitive pricing.

What areas must CSPs improve in order to meet your organization's need to embed or integrate telecommunications into your applications, operations, products, and services?


While most enterprise technology leaders believe the IT department (58%) would most benefit from integrating telecommunications into applications, about half report the operations team (51%) and engineering team (46%) would also benefit.

Which internal departments are most frequently requesting—or would most benefit from—the ability to embed or integrate telecommunications into your applications, operations, products, and services?

Respondent breakdown