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The ROI of Cloud Networking (as Reported by Aruba Central Customers) 

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One lesson learned from the past 20+ months is that improving network agility and resiliency via a cloud-based management experience is no longer a nice to have: it’s mission critical.  

Administering networks site by site, device by device, using a patchwork of scripts and CLI was already quite taxing for IT operators. Then, work-from-home initiatives became the norm – a distribution of the workforce that introduced new network connectivity demands, more security concerns, and additional IT management constraints.  

Now that many traditional business locations have reopened, we’re seeing an explosion of new IoT devices, as well as more bandwidth-hungry cloud apps and collaboration platforms being deployed onto corporate networks.  

Given these and other considerations, it’s not surprising that over half of IT organizations reported that they accelerated their investments in cloud-managed networking over the past year(1). Networking teams are turning to the cloud to speed new service delivery, consolidate management of infrastructure, reduce costs, and get better visibility into issues as they arise, amongst an array of other operational benefits.  

At Aruba, we’re seeing significant growth in the area of cloud-managed networking with Aruba Central. That’s one reason why we recently conducted a customer survey using TechValidate to help capture these outcomes and gauge what capabilities our customers find most valuable as they continue to navigate today’s new business realities.  

With that in mind, I’ve outlined some detailed takeaways from the Aruba Central customer survey below. Or, if you prefer a lighter read, check out our infographic 

Faster Network Deployments  

The result: 64% of surveyed Aruba Central customers estimate they have reduced the time it takes to deploy a new network or site by at least 50%.  

Why it’s significant: As businesses recover from COVID-19, minimizing the time it takes to roll-out a new network is imperative. Getting a network set up faster – whether it’s a net-new deployment, a refresh, or an expansion – means businesses can tap into revenue-generating opportunities sooner.  

What’s driving the result: Aruba Central customers are benefitting from features such as zero touch provisioning and GUI-driven workflows to bring new network devices online faster. In fact, 96% of surveyed customers say such configuration and provisioning capabilities are valuable or highly valuable.   

Aruba Central network health summary dashboard

Reduced Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR) 

The result: 63% of surveyed Aruba Central customers estimate they have reduced the time it takes to resolve network issues by at least 50%. One-third (33%) estimate at least a 75% improvement. 

Why it’s significant: 57% of IT’s time is spent reacting to or proactively preventing network performance issues(2). While such activities help keep the lights on, they distract network engineers from more value-added projects and can significantly drive up IT operating costs.  

What’s driving the result: With Aruba Central’s AIOps capabilities and advanced monitoring and troubleshooting tools, customers are detecting and resolving issues much faster – elevating network and application service levels and keeping costs in check. In fact, 94% say troubleshooting tools such as packet capture, dynamic logs, and live events are valuable or very valuable, while 96% say Aruba Central’s network and application health dashboards are generating significant value.  

Fewer IT Support Tickets  

The result: 38% of surveyed Aruba Central customers estimate they have reduced the number of IT support tickets they must address in half (i.e., by at least 50%).  

Why it’s significant: According to Enterprise Management Associates, 33% of network service problems are still reported by end users(3) – meaning business is being impacted before IT even has the chance to respond. Proactive avoidance of user-reported issues keeps customers more engaged and employees more productive.  

What’s driving the result: According to the TechValidate survey, three-fourths (76%) of Aruba Central customers are already taking advantage of newer AIOps capabilities such as AI Insights and AI Search. These customers are realizing benefits such as proactively avoiding issues, eliminating help desk tickets, and gaining prescriptive tips to fine-tune network settings and improve overall performance before an issue actually occurs.   

Aruba Central customers leverage AIOps capabilities such as self-healing workflows to detect and resolve problems up to 90% faster. 

Less Rework and More Efficient Operations 

The result: 66% of surveyed Aruba Central customers estimate they have reduced errors (e.g., configuration issues) by at least 25%. Nearly half (48%) estimate cutting errors in half.  

Along the same lines, two-thirds (66%) of Central customers also report that they can now complete network change windows at least 50% faster.  

Why it’s significant: Manual operator errors continue to be a large contributor of network performance issues and downtime. Whether it’s completing a firmware upgrade, changing a port interface on a switch, or onboarding a new group of client devices and end users, IT operators need to move swiftly without triggering cascading impacts on the network. 

What’s driving the result: Aruba Central empowers network operators with intuitive, centralized workflows that are less time- and labor-intensive to complete – dramatically reducing the likelihood of configuration errors and rework while boosting IT productivity. Most noteworthy are Live Upgrades to eliminate downtime during firmware upgrades (96% report this is valuable or highly valuable), while 93% find value in the simplicity of Central’s GUI-based config options that make routine network changes even easier.   

Capabilities such as Live Upgrades help Aruba Central customers complete maintenance activities much faster, while reducing risk of network downtime.  

Significant Network Cost Savings  

The result: 54% of surveyed Aruba Central customers estimate they have reduced network operating costs by at least 25%. Nearly one-third (32%) estimate at least a 50% reduction in costs. 

Why it’s significant: During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, insufficient budget ranked as the #1 network operations challenge, according to EMA(4). Even with overall IT budgets forecasted to slightly increase in 2022, the old adage will still ring true for many network infrastructure and operations leaders – do more, with less. That means reducing overall networking costs will continue to be an imperative for most IT organizations.  

What’s driving the result: Forgive the possibly trite response, but it’s a result of all the above! Aruba Central customers are slashing network costs by seeing significant operational improvements across the board. Less firefighting of issues, improved staff efficiency, and better network performance means lower IT expenditures and a healthier bottom-line for the business.  

Make the Shift to Cloud-managed Networking with Aruba Central  

The results are in: Aruba Central customers worldwide are making considerable improvements to how they manage and optimize their networks – from day 0 provisioning to day N maintenance activities. Our customers are spending less time on the day-to-day management of infrastructure, and more time on delivering value to their business counterparts, employees, and customers.  

Better yet, Aruba Central customers feel prepared for the future: 83% of surveyed customers believe the solution is delivering innovative features at a reasonable cost, while 81% agree their networking management needs will be addressed well into the future.  

 Join the 120,000+ customers who are already relying on Aruba Central to simplify day-to-operations, reduce costs, and improve IT efficiency.  Get started today by checking out a self-guided demo, or have one of our friendly sales reps contact you directly 

 About TechValidate

TechValidate is a trusted third-party research organization that directly interfaces with business and technology end-users to collect and validate information about their deployments. More information is available at  www.techvalidate.com.

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(1) IDC, “Future of Enterprise Networking: Emergence of the New Normal,” March 2021

(2) Enterprise Management Associates, Network Management Megatrends 2020, April 2020

(3) Ibid

(4) Ibid