Helping the C-suite leverage their network as a business-boosting asset

By: Larry Lunetta, VP Portfolio Solutions Marketing at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

As customer-centric innovators, we’re constantly looking at how we can better help businesses reach their goals by leveraging technology. That’s why hearing from them first-hand is so valuable.

This year, we kicked off our quest for insights with a survey run by Sapio Research.

Targeting 200 international business decision makers from organizations of 500 employees or more, its purpose was to gauge the C-suite’s understanding of where and how a network can deliver against modern business needs.

And what a set of needs businesses are facing in 2023—from enabling more immersive omnichannel customer journeys to creating bespoke data-led experiences, innovating to secure new revenue streams, weaving sustainability into operations, and much, much more.

The survey findings are telling: one in four business leaders have only a functional or limited understanding of the enterprise network’s true potential.

And this snapshot aligns with a far bigger trend we’re noticing across industries—business leaders need expert partners (both from within their IT teams and from vendors like HPE Aruba Networking) to help them leverage their network to produce innovative business outcomes, aligned to their specific, strategic digital transformation goals.

While business leaders want to innovate, other key findings reaffirm that the value of the network to help them do so is not well-understood:

While 93% agree their business’ technology needs have increased post-pandemic, 73% are concerned about their organization’s ability to keep up with the latest requirements.71% acknowledge that technology and enhanced digitalization are crucial to employees doing their jobs, however only 61% see the link between staff productivity and network advancements.Half of respondents believe access to data is fundamental to unlocking new revenue streams in the year ahead, but 53% aren’t aware of how the network could help drive this innovation.

High levels of digital transformation and innovation will define business success in 2023, which 81% of surveyed business leaders recognize. But almost a third anticipate moderate transformation at best. As the network is the proverbial on-ramp to the digital transformation freeway that stretches from edge to cloud, we believe that a more innovative, agile, optimized offering on this front will make all the difference.

With our results showing that only a quarter of respondents are planning to put budget behind their network infrastructure this year, there is clearly more to be done in demonstrating the network’s value as a business-driving asset in its own right.

Part of this is lies in how IT leaders frame their networking discussions—talking in terms of business outcomes versus technical specs. But it might also require a different approach to networking entirely.

Agile Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) can offer business leaders the flexibility and resilience to battle through the prevailing headwinds faced across industries—from budget and resource constraints, to the need to match network capacity to the ever changing business needs. While these leaders can’t be expected to have all the answers around networking, working with their IT teams to understand how NaaS can help them meet their business goals is the right first step. With the correct NaaS strategy (from acquisition to deployment and management) that fits their unique requirements, businesses can then fast-track a successful digital transformation.

Want to learn more? Check out our infographic.

IT Leadership