In the hybrid workspace, network investment priorities change. Cloud is on the rise.

Lynn Haber

August 12, 2020

3 Min Read
Stacked reports with clips on them.

A new Aruba study outlines how IT decision-makers are rethinking procurement and investments in networking as the hybrid workplace becomes a reality. Aruba, an HPE company, defines the hybrid workplace as one where people work in and move between a combination of locations — home, on the road, and in the office.

The report – “Preparing for the Post-Pandemic Workplace: How IT Decision-Makers are Responding to COVID-19” – focuses on ITDM management and future plans for networking investments, and preferred consumption models for the next 12-24 months.

Keep up with resources for supporting partners and customers during the COVID-19 crisis.


Aruba’s Paul Kaspian

“Back in March there was a big surge in Aruba customers who were expanding their remote workforce. Nine percent of the workforce was remote; now, 99% is remote. More recently, we’ve been having conversations with customers about the safe return to the office, return to campus,” Paul Kaspian, senior product marketing manager for Aruba, told Channel Futures. “The data is interesting, and it has guided us in some of the assumptions we’ve had about how some of our customers have had to transform their approach. Our business partners are asking for best practices and how they can help customers return to office.”

A Closer Look

Here a look at what’s on the minds of IT business decision-makers.

  • IT decision-makers who were already adapting to a more distributed workforce are accelerating their plans as a result of the pandemic.

  • They’re also adjusting their investment plans and priorities.

  • Many IT projects were delayed or postponed. However, once back on track, many businesses will increase investment.

  • Consumption of network infrastructure will change with as-a-service investment increasing.

  • AI-based networking, automation, and analytics and assurance are considered key technologies for managing a more distributed workforce.

Digging deeper into the global data, three in four (74%) employees say COVID-19 has had a moderate to significant impact on them. Businesses reported that 77% of networking projects were delayed or postponed.

The pandemic puts the spotlight on three areas of increased investment. Those areas are cloud-based networking (37%), AI-powered networking (35%), and analytics and assurance (34%). Breaking down regional cloud networking investments, Asia Pacific leads the way (45%); then comes the Americas (36%) and EMEA (32%).

The Need for Flexibility

Consideration of alternative consumption models, specifically IT services consumed via subscription, will increase 38% within the next two years. That total today is 34% and will hit 46% by 2022, the research shows.

How are IT decision-makers thinking about alternative consumption models?: subscription (55%), managed services (53%), financial leasing (30%) and sticking with capex (8%).

“What we can surmise from the research is that customers just need a lot more flexibility. Things just aren’t as static,” said Kaspian. “Anecdotally, the big shift to remote work put a big stress on customer infrastructures. We’re also seeing a similar anxiety around back-to-office and whether they can do location tracing and contact tracing with their existing technology. Or, do I need to make an additional purchase?”

Aruba commissioned Vanson Bourne for the research. The study included 2,400 IT decision-makers in 21 countries. Organizations had more than 500 employees and represented eight business verticals. Aruba conducted the study in May.

About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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