This report on inventory management looks at the changing landscape for inventory in telcos and follows on from our 2017 report on dynamic inventory and our previous report on Network Data Management, which focused on observability and the management of telemetry data. It looks at the new challenges and requirements for inventory in networks that are becoming increasingly dynamic, where the network is becoming increasingly software-based, and where the underlying network is deployed on the cloud. It looks at the changes needed to network inventory solutions in response to this.

Broken into four sections, the report provides a definition and forecast for the inventory market and a background on the evolution of inventory management. It then looks at the current business challenges that will change inventory management and finally describes what inventory solutions will need to change to address these challenges.

Appledore believes data, including inventory, will be the central platform around which all operational processes will flow. Network Data Management, including inventory, is at the center of our Network Automation Software (NAS) taxonomy. Inventory provides the fundamental knowledge of what and where the network is. A record of all the components (geographic, physical, logical, and service) of the network and the dependencies and topological relationships between them.

Network Data Management (NDM) is an essential segment within the Network Automation Software (NAS) market. We predict growth in spending on solutions in this category, from an estimated USD 0.9 billion in 2023 to USD 1.7 billion in 2027.  We estimate that inventory is 10% of the total NDM market, with total spending on inventory solutions growing from USD 90 million in 2023 to USD 170 million in 2027, supporting increased automation in service orchestration, domain management, and in AIOps. Our estimate covers total inventory spend, including both software and services but does not include inventory embedded in domain management applications like controllers. These are important components of Inventory but difficult to separate from the domain manager spend.

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Report author: Francis Haysom
Publication date: 21/11/2022
Number of pages: 30