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The Disruptive Technology Value Map: The intersection of investment and impact

The Disruptive Technology Value Map

Telecom companies are making sizeable investments across many different disruptive technologies – but are they seeing value from their outlay?


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Telecom companies are making sizeable investments across many different disruptive technologies – but are they seeing value from their outlay? And are they choosing the right technologies at the right time to optimise competitive advantage?

Building on data and insights from our research, we evaluated the 13 measured disruptive technologies using the following metrics: impact on operations, impact on business models and level of investment.

Combining these three metrics into a framework – which we call the Disruptive Technology Value Map – helps telecom leaders guide investment decisions on disruptive technologies.

Companies can benchmark themselves against their peers to prioritise different disruptive technologies. Disruptive technologies fall into five key categories, based upon the investment-versus-impact model:

Impact vs investment graph disruptive technology telecom
Table stakes Strategic Maturing Sunrise/sunset Nascent: Future Stars

Investment: High

Impact: High

Investment: High

Impact: Medium-to-low

Investment: Medium-to-low

Impact: High

Investment: Medium

Impact: Medium

Investment: Low

Impact: Low

Mobile  Marketing Platforms Social Media Digital Payments and currencies 3D Printing
Cloud     On-demand marketplace Platforms Robotics
D&A     IoT  

Fog computing: another future star?

As demand for bandwidth and data volume – particularly from smart devices – strains telecom networks’ capacity to the limits, other new solutions are emerging. Fog computing has the potential to extend cloud computing through virtualized resources on “the edge” of mobile networks to power both cloud and mobile applications.

Reimagining the telecom business model

As data, via the cloud, becomes the new battleground, how can companies carve out a distinctive niche and avoid being mere commodity providers?

Of those respondents expressing a negative impact from disruption, 58 percent say it is undermining their company’s business model, as they strive to claim a prominent role in the new, connected world.

In order to adapt their networks to meet this new challenge, telcos are investing in Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networks (SDN). This involves a fundamental change to the way networks are designed and built – as well as introducing relationships with newer, less familiar suppliers.

Supporting IoT is likely to become ever more important, in light of the proliferation of connected devices. Many, if not most, IoT devices need only very low-speed connections, and operators should consider investing in low-power, wide-area networks.

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