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Which SDN/NFV Revenue Streams Will Cause Disruption in the CSP Market?

by Martina Kurth  |  August 15, 2017  |  Submit a Comment

SDN/NFV will change the DNA of CSPs in terms of flexibility to create and deliver cloud-based services to clients, where, when and how they need it – similar to the on-demand, usage-based service models of over-the-top players like Amazon. However, the initially technical focused question about unlocking the SDN/NFV potential is now shifting toward the business side and the new revenue creation potential.

Many CSPs are looking for justification of their technology investments and guidance to build the business case. They are asking themselves questions such as: Which are the actual new virtualized services that may cause disruption in the marketplace and help CSPs to gain an early mover advantage? Where should we put our bets? What is the size of the revenue potential and how long will it take to realize these new revenue streams?

So far investments reside in discrete areas and occur at incremental scale. Now competitive pressure creates an urgency to operationalize and monetize SDN/NFV. The question arises how CSPs can commercialize their SDN/NFV deployments at wider enterprise scale? In order to do that, the immediate question arises regarding linkage of required technology investments and desired business outcome, which requires multi-faceted strategic planning, as the following report shows: . CSPs Require Multifaceted Strategic Planning to Realize Full Revenue Potential of SDN/NFV

What are the new SDN/NFV enabled services and associated revenue streams and what it the time to benefit? Services such as virtual CPE represent high revenue potential and can be swiftly leveraged. The low-hanging fruits — in terms of return on SDN/NFV investments — are investments that help improving business agility, operational efficiency and service modelling capabilities of new services, such as virtualized security or unified communications services on demand. Other services, like IoT, represent a high revenue potential but the time to benefit is long-term, as depicted in the revenue heat map:

SDN/NFV Revenue Potential and Time-to-Impact

CSPs looking to capitalize on SDN/NFV services revenue potential need to expeditiously act upon multi-faceted strategic planning actions:

  1. Understand the Go-To Market Impact of SDN/NFV from a Commercial Perspective

SDN/NFV will allow CSPs to tap into the digital value chain, enabling new business models in partnership with third party ecosystem players. However business leaders need to pursue diligent business strategy, revenue and go-to-market planning to capitalize on SDN/NFV.

  1. Expand the footprint in discrete areas and commercially scale the business in the SDN and NFV quickly and efficiently

Start on a smaller scale and gradually leverage lessons learned across wider operational instances, domains and entities. Don´t miss out investments in digital customer-facing IT that enables monetization of new business models, such as IoT or network slicing.

  1. Focus on a Few Critical Operational Best Practices and Agile Tools to Accelerate Adoption of SDN/NFV

Focus on the operational agility aspects and how to make incremental investments in the orchestration architecture, operational tools such as predictive analytics, service modelling and AI, as well as standards and templates to work for SDN/NFV transformation.

  1. Start Implementing Organizational Change and Leadership Management at an Early Stage

Create a fundamental organizational and talent overhaul to fully utilize your SDN/NFV technology investments in tandem with the introduction of agile, DevOps style service creation and testing processes spanning across architecture, development and operations for network and IT.




Martina Kurth
Research Director
9 years at Gartner
19 years IT Industry

Martina Kurth is a Research Director within CSP Technology advising CSPs, CTOs and CIOs worldwide on prevailing transformation and sourcing initiatives in the area of OSS/BSS and SDP. Her research also encompasses telco-specific CPQ, catalog, and order management systems and processes spanning CSPs' entire operational lead-to-install process. Read Full Bio

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