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Paul Tablan

By: Paul Tablan on September 14, 2022

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What Does NaaS Mean In IT? What Are The Pros & Cons?

Networking

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2018, but has been updated to include more comprehensive information. 

You are an expert at running your business. You know it inside and out. But when it comes to your IT, you may need some help evaluating your options. 

IT can be complicated. 

For example, take network as a service (NaaS). You may have heard the acronym and may even know what it stands for, but what is it? What are the pros? What are the cons

As a network engineer at Kelser Corporation, it’s my job to understand networking options. I’ve worked in IT for 10 years and I help business leaders just like you evaluate networking options every day

In this article, I’ll provide honest, unbiased information about NaaS in easy-to-understand language

After reading this article, you’ll feel confident in your knowledge of NaaS and will have the information you need to decide whether it is a good option for your organization. 

Please know that when I say “honest, unbiased, and easy-to-understand information” I mean it. 

While some companies might use an article like this to persuade you to buy a certain product, Kelser is a bit of an outlier. Our goal is to publish articles like this for the sole purpose of helping you confidently decide the best IT options for your organization.  

You see, we understand that IT can be filled with acronyms. We think it’s important for you to understand them

We are committed to helping you find the IT solutions that best suit your organization

What Does NaaS Mean In IT Terms? 

Network as a service (NaaS) is a subscription-based service in which organizations pay a fixed amount of money to a service provider in exchange for virtually managed networking and computing resources

NaaS products are purchased on a per-user basis for an agreed-upon period. NaaS can include wide area networking (WAN) connectivity, data center connectivity, bandwidth on demand (BoD), security services, and other applications. 

Pros 

There are numerous advantages of NaaS. Here are a few that are important to know

1. Financial

With NaaS, companies don’t have to lay out capital to buy network hardware. Instead of investing in the large one-time cost of purchasing on-premise hardware, the network is managed in the cloud as a pay-as-you-go or subscription service, which is booked as an operational expense

2. Operational

When using NaaS, organizations remove the responsibility and hassle of monitoring and updating hardware and applications.

Instead, the provider absorbs that responsibility, monitoring and quickly pushing out the latest security and operational upgrades to make sure the network is operating as safely and efficiently as possible at all times.

3. Scalable

NaaS is scalable. In other words, rather than having to upgrade physical hardware (i.e. replacing a server), NaaS makes it easy to increase or decrease the amount of network capacity to reflect the demands of your business.

This  makes it a cost-effective solution for organizations that experience a rush at certain times of the year (such as seasonal businesses). 

Cons

As with most things in life, there are disadvantages as well as advantages. Here are some of the most important disadvantages

1. Commitment

With NaaS, organizations usually need to commit to a multi-year contract. If things don’t work out, the customer can be looking at an expensive contract termination fee. 

2. Security 

We talked about the benefits of NaaS in terms of pushing out security and operational updates in section two above because cloud-based solutions are typically safer than on-premise servers.

However, there is always an inherent security risk when trusting a third party with your sensitive data

3. Compatibility

The provider’s solutions may not be compatible with legacy hardware or applications that may be integral to the business. These issues can often be overcome, but it is definitely something to watch out for and discuss with the provider. 

Is NaaS The Right Solution For My Business? 

NaaS offers predictable costs, increased flexibility and scalability, and performance enhancements. But it is not the right solution for every organization

It may be a good solution if your business wants to reduce capital expenses, experience seasonal surges in demand, and has limited IT resources to maintain and upgrade hardware and software.

If your business is predictable and uses legacy hardware or applications, NaaS might not be the right solution for you. If your business needs to meet specific compliance or regulatory requirements, it also may not be right for you. 

Ultimately, only you can decide what is best for your business. After reading this article, you are better prepared to make this decision because you know what NaaS is and the pros and cons it offers.  

You know that NaaS offers financial, operational, and scalability advantages. You also know that it often requires a multi-year commitment, can raise security concerns, and may not be compatible with legacy hardware and applications. 

At this point, you have a basic understanding of NaaS. You may be ready to make a decision or you may still want to do more research to determine whether it is the right solution for your organization. Either way, you have the basic understanding to support your next step. 

At Kelser, we pride ourselves on publishing informative, easy-to-understand articles about complex technical topics. We hope you agree. 

As a managed IT support provider, we know the importance of being able to understand technical terms to make informed decisions

NaaS is just one of the things usually included in managed IT support. We know that managed IT isn’t right for every organization, but if you’re wondering whether it’s right for you, read this article: Is Managed IT Support A Good Solution For Small & Medium Businesses?   

Looking for other ways to keep your network safe? Check out this article about multi-factor authentication: Benefits of MFA: Security for a Network, Simplicity for End Users.

Kelser includes managed network services as part of our comprehensive managed IT support offering. Want to find out more about Kelser’s managed IT support? Wondering what it costs? Find out in this article: How Much Does Kelser Charge For Managed IT Support? What’s Included?

Or, if you prefer to talk live to find out whether we are a good fit to work together, click on the button below and one of our IT specialists will contact you within 24 hours (usually much sooner). 

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