Finnish kit vendor Nokia has commissioned some research that CSPs can save 25% over five years if they move their software from on-premise to the SaaS model.

It just so happens that Nokia has a whole division devoted to flogging software to CSPs on the as-a-service model, so it’s easy to dismiss this as one of those bits of research designed to support a business case. But even if it is, that doesn’t mean it’s untrue.

Nokia commissioned Analysis Mason to do this research and is making it available via a gated form. A quick look reveals a 19-page report titled ‘The A-to-Z of SaaS purchasing’, the first half of which reads like a beginners guide to SaaS as a concept, while the second half mainly concerns itself with stressing what a great idea it is. The report is big on comparative charts but thin on hard metrics and methodology.


The TL;DR is that the recurring costs of SaaS subscriptions are lower than the total cost of on-premise software, which includes periodic upgrade purchases and hosting. ‘CSPs may gain more benefit by outsourcing the responsibility of a deployment’s maintenance to a vendor, thereby enabling internal staff to focus on improving revenue generation. This also means that resources that would have otherwise been spent on hardware can be spent elsewhere,’ says the report.

“With monetization of 5G assets at the top of their agenda, CSPs need cost-effective tools that not only support delivering on the promise of 5G, but strengthen their ability to get more value for their expenditure,” said Mark Bunn, SVP of Cloud and Network Services at Nokia. “There is a strong operational and financial case for moving to SaaS services today and away from the dated practice of buying customized software for analytics, security, and other functions that run on costly, complex, on-premise infrastructure.”


“In many scenarios, the long-term software costs associated with SaaS can be outweighed when CSPs consider the significant savings that are possible in other areas, as well as reduced time to value for the creation of new services,” said Justin van der Lande of Analysys Mason, one of the authors of the report. “Long-standing CSP pain points are also avoided: no more having to plan how data center resources, testing of changes and right scaling of hardware to best meet capacity needs; these all fall to the SaaS vendor.”

SaaS as a concept has been around for decades, so it’s a bit odd to see Nokia taking such an entry-level approach to bigging it up to CSPs. One possible explanation is that the telecoms industry is somewhat behind when it comes to the latest IT developments, which isn’t too hard to believe. We’re more sceptical that a piece of research such as this will convince CSPs to get with the times, but it’s probably worth a go nonetheless.


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