Enterprise Spending on Communications is Declining, Excluding Open Source Investment

It should not come as a surprise that in an era defined by software, not hardware; apps, not access; Moore’s Law cost declines for computing, storage and communications, that enterprise spending on communications actually is falling, while spending on various information technology products is growing.

Market share shifts are occurring as well, at least in the U.S. market, where cable TV suppliers are gaining share in business customer markets, and traditional telcos are losing share.

In its first quarter of 2016, Comcast reported a business services revenue increase of 17.5 percent to $1.3 billion, with small business accounting for about 75 percent of revenue and about 60 percent of the growth. In 2015, Comcast commercial services revenue grew 15 percent, year over year.

In the first quarter of 2016, Time Warner Cable grew business services revenue 13 percent, year over year. In 2015, Time Warner Cable commercial services revenue grew nearly 16 percent, year over year.

In 2015, Charter Communications grew its commercial services revenue 22 percent. In its first quarter of 2016, Charter grew its business services revenue  by 12 percent.

Still, according to Gartner, enterprise telecom spending  is dropping, both in the U.S. and global markets. The caveats are that dollar-denominated spending is affected negatively by currency fluctuations.

Also, there is no way to quantify the substitution of open source products for products formerly purchased from industry suppliers. In other words, investment in information technology arguably is higher than the commercial sales figures represent.

In addition, enterprise spending has shifted from fixed network services to mobile services, in very large part.

Perhaps most importantly, such spending analyses do not reflect higher performance at less cost, which means enterprises get higher performance from lower expenditures.


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