A rising tide lifts all boats, or so the political aphorism goes. Though it doesn't always work out that way, it's often the case that when a general demand comes into play, individual businesses tend to be beneficiaries of this new demand. That seems to be the case in the connected device market, as a new study finds that network functions virtualization (NFV) will also stand to benefit under a general expansion in demand for connected devices.
The overall market for NFV material is expected to grow, and substantially, over the next four years. Between now and 2020, the market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33 percent, with the biggest source of that growth being an overall rise in connected devices. With connected devices from household appliances to connected cars to apparatuses specifically geared toward tracking shoppers in retail stores, there will be a great many more connected devices in play in the field. That in turn will mean a clear demand for systems that can both connect and manage the various connected devices involved, and that's where NFV has its greatest chance to shine.
Moreover, when virtualized network functions (VNFs) are brought into play—including such things as mobile core, traffic management, and security tools among others—it makes an already valuable connectivity system like NFV even more valuable. Security is easily one of the biggest problems that an Internet of Things (IoT) environment can face; featuring devices located remotely but connected to the network, this can be a big opportunity for hackers to find a generally low-risk point to try and tap into the network.
Interestingly, the report also notes that the NFV market is extremely fragmented thanks to the sheer number of competitors in the market. Already, several of these are looking to cement a position via partnerships with solutions providers in other markets. This would mean a better chance to be part of larger overall NFV deployments worldwide.
Basically, the NFV market as we know it today may well be a completely different market in a fairly short amount of time. Right now, there are a great many competitors going after a fairly static amount of market, which suggests that, in some time, we may well see some of these firms depart the market altogether or otherwise refocus efforts. After all, a market can only support so many firms, so those who start in the market may well not finish.
Still, it's clear there's plenty of opportunity ahead for firms looking to take advantage of this impressive new market. It's all about who does the job best in NFV that counts in the end.
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