The market for compute and storage infrastructure for telecommunications providers will reach US$16.3 billion in 2022, as a result of a steady 6.2 per cent annual growth.
According to IDC findings, the shift to software-defined infrastructure is happening at an unprecedented pace, especially in the telecommunications industry as providers convert entire data centres from vertically integrated stacks to software-defined infrastructure.
This is compared to the updated market share for 2017, which was sized at US$10.8 billion by IDC.
"Telecoms are the forefront of the innovation curve," said Ashish Nadkarni, vice president of infrastructure systems, platforms and technology at IDC.
"The shift to a software-defined infrastructure enables them to focus on innovation, drive operations costs down, and continue to differentiate based on the uniqueness of their products and services."
According to IDC, in an industry where legacy business models and regulations can no longer guarantee revenue growth, telecoms must stay ahead of the competition by upping their ante on innovation and, like most enterprises, driving costs down.
"Initiatives such as 5G or rich media delivery via mobile platforms cannot be delivered via legacy platforms that are rigid, have scaling challenges, and require months of planning to scale efficiently."
Communications service providers worldwide have focused on strengthening in-house software development efforts using open source stacks, while also partnering with integrators to convert their data centres to be software defined.
Furthermore, providers are also sponsoring and participating in industrywide infrastructure consortiums, while making a concerted effort to move not just applications, but also network function workloads onto a virtualised (containerised) infrastructure, according to IDC.
"They are shifting to a single infrastructure platform that supports current and new generation telecom-specific as well as business applications that can run interchangeably in virtual machines, containers, and bare metal," IDC stated.
"Telecoms have ushered in a model for flexible and scalable consumption of compute, storage, and networking resources."