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In the ever-evolving networking arena, the flexibility of the network-as-a-service (NaaS) model is a drawcard for business leaders who want to focus more on achieving their business outcomes than on the underlying network technology.

According to NTT’s 2022–23 Global Network Report, organizations are increasingly looking to partner with specialist managed service providers (MSPs), a sentiment shared by nearly 95% of the C-suite.

This does not mean the importance of the network is waning. Quite the opposite: hybrid working, cloud migration, new security threats and IoT are just some of the factors making an efficient network more important than ever before.

The report also finds that 72% of top-performing organizations outsource more than half of their network infrastructure management, and organizations in an advanced state of digital optimization are nearly twice as likely as those in a less mature state to outsource their entire network.

Why you should work with a managed service provider

The Global Network Report research shows that 93% of CIOs and CTOs agree (51% strongly) that they’re increasingly looking to partner with a specialist MSP such as NTT for NaaS solutions.

Organizations want to bridge their in-house skill gaps and keep pace with the need to innovate. The research findings show that most respondents agree a platform-based service will address these and future business needs.

You cannot achieve your business outcomes if you have not aligned your network strategy with those outcomes. And, to manage the complex requirements of your network, you need someone to advise you on how it is evolving, where you should invest in it, and how best to architect it.

MSPs have the skills to get you from network planning and design to full operation, maintenance and optimization – even if you work with multiple vendors and a mix of new and legacy network components.

They invest in technologies – including analytics, automation and AIOps – that your organization can benefit from. They also take care of implementing and operating these tools on your behalf.

How to choose an MSP for network as a service

Managed services involve a long-term relationship based on trust, and you need to understand both the skills and scale of your MSP.

In the Global Network Report, senior executives identify real-time analytics as their most critical network need, followed by the ability of network managers to drill down fast and efficiently to deal with problems while reducing downtime – which points to a need for AIOps and automation.

Then, when it comes to evaluating network vendors, these executives list an MSP’s range of skills, track record, operational support, flexibility and scalability, and coverage as their key considerations beyond price. (They rank cost savings behind network security – their main concern – and having access to a full suite of network services, in second place.)

To make your outsourcing a success, you should therefore think carefully when selecting the right solution and partner to address your business needs:

  1. Find a service provider that can manage both the current state of your network and its ongoing evolution. They should also be able to incorporate the latest network technology, including improved security, analytics and AIOps, to support business outcomes. Such a partnership ensures best practice and circumvents any lack of in-house skills in these areas.
  2. Engage with a single vendor. This can minimize contract complexities and eliminate a lack of interoperability between vendors and the need to maintain multiple software versions, among other challenges. For example, the convergence of networking and security is leading organizations away from having separate network and security vendors.
  3. Adopt the network-as-a-service model to save time and money. More than 90% of senior executives prefer this model, citing the flexibility to scale up and down as a major benefit, followed by supply chain certainty, accessing a catalogue of services from a single source, and a balance between operational and capital expenditure. Top performers are almost twice as likely as underperformers to strongly prefer this model.


Our managed network services enable a secure, high-performance edge-to-cloud ecosystem that allows you to improve customer and employee experience, gain operational efficiencies through AIOps and advanced analytics, and keep up with the latest network technology.

With a global network of highly skilled and certified people, we can take care of all your support needs, 24x7, and our processes and governance – based on five decades’ experience – are certified by industry bodies. Our strategic partnerships with leading network equipment manufacturers also speed up our incident-resolution times.

Book a network assessment with NTT to embark on your transformation journey.

Matthew Allen is Vice-President of Service Offer Management: Networking at NTT