Rising Demand Further Disrupts U.S. Media, Network Firms

Industries reshaped by new content distributors are modernizing networks and systems to meet customer expectations, ISG Provider Lens™ report says

The U.S. media and communications industries, already disrupted by the rise of over-the-top (OTT) platforms, are undergoing technology transformations in response to growing demand for services, according to a new research report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Media and Communication Services report for the U.S. finds that both industries are focused on strengthening and expanding services amid ongoing changes to business models and often shrinking margins. For telecommunications carriers, networks became strained under rising demand when enterprises introduced work-from-home policies during the COVID-19 pandemic, in some cases degrading service quality, ISG says. Providers of over-the-top (OTT) services, many of which distribute content from multiple media companies, need increasingly powerful content management systems to maintain a good customer experience.

“Media and communication companies depend on customer satisfaction for revenue and growth,” said Jeff Cosby, partner, media, technology and software services for ISG. “As service requirements grow more complex, they are constantly evolving their underlying technology.”

Telecom operators and legacy media companies are migrating to cloud infrastructure, which OTT providers so far have used to gain an unparalleled competitive advantage in delivering services, the report says. In the telecom sector, telco clouds enable virtual network functions (VNFs), which can improve resilience and service availability, but most carriers still prefer a hybrid, multi-cloud approach with core network components remaining on-premises. Traditional media companies are looking to efficiently move to the cloud for scalable infrastructure and storage.

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To maximize revenue per customer and retain subscribers over the long term, telecom operators are integrating more value-added services, especially payment systems such as digital wallets, the report says. This is leading many to transform their operations support system (OSS) and business support system (BSS), adding automation powered by AI, machine learning and analytics.

“Expanding the services offered through an already complex software infrastructure takes a significant effort,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Many operators are turning to business process service providers for end-to-end transformation services to save time and money.”

The report also examines other trends in the U.S. media and communications industries, including efforts to apply 5G to private networks, the growing use of analytics tools to derive monetizable insights from data and media companies’ early exploration of blockchain applications.

The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Media and Communication Services report for the U.S. evaluates the capabilities of 21 providers across four quadrants: Communications Business Services, Communications Next-Gen IT Services, Media Business Services and Media Next-Gen IT Services.

The report names Accenture, HCLTech and TCS as Leaders in all four quadrants. It names Capgemini, Sutherland and Tech Mahindra as Leaders in two quadrants each and Genpact, Infosys and Wipro as Leaders in one quadrant each.

In addition, Tech Mahindra and Wipro are named as Rising Stars — companies with a “promising portfolio” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition — in one quadrant each.

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