3 Questions to Ask About NaaS and SASE Investments

How ‘doing more with less’ is shaping network transformation

3 Questions to Ask About NaaS and SASE Investments

We often hear from our customers that they “do more with less”.  They attribute market dynamics, financial pressures, and evolving priorities as their main drivers that leaves them scrambling for budgets and resources to get things done.

CIOs have been forced to change their network and security strategies over the years in order to accommodate their growing application and data sets requirements.  From Distributed Architectures to Cloud Services and IoT, they are forcing companies to rethink how to build, connect and secure network and security architectures, policies, and governance differently.

Therefore, CIOs must make sure all their investments to address these changes are business-driven and financially sound for long period of time.   After customers make their investment decisions in Network-as-a-Service (“NaaS”) and Secure Access Service Edge (“SASE”) solutions, they should be asking themselves these following 3 questions:

Am I using the Ferrari effectively?

This is a key question to ask for the simple reason that customers don’t normally maximize the usage and value of what they bought.  For example, if you buy a Ferrari to win a race, learning how to drive it doesn’t guarantee that a race can be won (even with a Ferrari).   Acquiring deep knowledge of the racetrack, learning how to drive in all-weather conditions and performing engine tune ups are necessary in order to achieve this goal.

Something similar is happening in the world of NaaS and SASE.  IT departments learn how to operate their networks and monitor their usage and security vulnerabilities.  However, how do they know that the network and security services offered are optimal to their end users? How can IT adapt to their End-User’s business changes (e.g. new offices required, hybrid workplace configurations, additional workloads)?

Here is where rolling out a Service Catalog ensures all applications and datasets using the network and security capabilities have the right priority and security levels based on critically and value to the company.  It is a great way to bridge the gap between the End Users’ expectations and IT’s ability to service them effectively.

In addition, regular network and security analyses are required to continue using the service effectively.  What’s the maximum data compression levels possible without affecting application performance?  Can I isolate a security breach without affecting the rest of the network?

What else can I do with a Ferrari besides winning a race?

Let’s figure out if it’s possible to use the Ferrari for other reasons.  Can I use it to show off?  How about taking it to buy groceries? How about using it when I am going skiing?  While the Ferrari may not be the best answer for these questions, why not trying to figure it out since I already own one.

IT departments should be asking similar questions.  How many more additional workloads can be added without compromising network latency?  Would the network be exposed to new security vulnerabilities? Can I use the same PoP architecture if my company opens offices in South Africa and Tanzania?  Can my applications use my NaaS and SASE architecture rather than going through a Cloud provider?  These are very interesting use cases worth the time to brainstorm, prioritize and address them.

In the end, customers should continue to maximize the value of their NaaS / SASE investment by evaluating and rolling out new use cases and preventing the proliferation of niche solutions that creates additional operational complexity.

Do I like my Ferrari so much that I am willing to buy more of them or not?

This is really a very subjective question as it depends if the objectives and success criteria were defined properly prior to the purchase.  In the case of the Ferrari, is the car meeting my expectations?  If I want to win more races, should I stick with Ferrari or buy a Maserati instead? Would I blame the car if I don’t win the race in the first place?

NaaS and SASE are no different.  How can customers measure the value of their investment if they don’t have clear metrics to measure against? Simplified Security Architecture, improved Security posture, better support for hybrid workplaces and increased cost efficiency are key metrics areas that comes to mind.

In summary, NaaS/SASE and Ferrari have things in common.  Both are solution powerhouses that solve problems.  However, how to maximize the value of the investment relies on the solution adoption strategy, ability to determine how this solution accommodates new use cases, and measure the overall experience so customers can “Do more with Less”.

About the author

Nick Chang
Nick Chang is the Vice President of Global Customer Success at Aryaka. He is responsible for the growth and maturity of the Customer Success business enabling our customers to maximize the value of their investment. Prior to joining Aryaka, Nick was the Global Head of Network Security Customer Success at Palo Alto Networks and held other leadership roles at HPE, Blue Data, Hitachi, NetApp, and Sun Microsystems.