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Reading the Tea Leaves on 2018 Enterprise Streaming Budgets

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Reading the Tea Leaves on 2018 Enterprise Streaming Budgets

By: -
5 Dec 2017

Projecting spending trends in the world of enterprise streaming technologies is usually a straight-forward business.

When we conduct our end user surveys at Wainhouse Research, we ask executives whether their organization plans to boost its budget for streaming technology implementations in the year ahead. Typically, a high proportion of executives report that budgets are increasing on a year-over-year basis.

And when we posed that question about streaming budgets in our latest survey of professionals fresh from the field, we found substantial interest in the continued expansion of streaming budgets. Among all the 2,004 participants in our survey fielded in the fourth quarter of 2017, 44% told us that their organizations are anticipating year-over-year increases in their streaming technology budgets. Those are pretty robust results by any measure.

But a strange thing happened before we could start counting the money that would be flowing into the streaming industry in 2018. We also asked respondents to tell us the actual size of their anticipated budgets for streaming in the year ahead. Once we tallied all the responses, we discovered a slight tick down in the proportion of companies allocating large budgets for streaming implementation. Overall, 35% of all the companies represented in the survey say they plan to spend at least $100,000 on streaming technologies in 2018. In last year’s survey, 36% of respondents had projected six-figure streaming budgets. Not a huge move down, but certainly unexpected given the range of respondents reporting plans for beefier budgets for these technologies.

One might be tempted to chalk up the results to survey anomalies. If the mix of companies represented in the survey had changed, for instance, that could shift the outcome of the data. But what we found in digging deeper into the data is that these trends are consistent across different segments of the survey group. Regardless of a company’s size or vertical segment, the downward tick in large 2018 budgets is stubbornly similar across the board.

Our hunch is that something bigger is brewing here. This data just might be giving us our first glimpse at how a shift in preferences from on-premises solutions to hosted options will impact spending patterns for enterprise streaming solutions. Even as usage of video continues to grow, the cost-effective nature of hosted solutions will allow some organizations with big-ticket budgets to address their streaming needs with more affordable solutions.

This is an issue that we will continue to watch. Our future surveys will continue to ask about spending intentions, giving us more clues on the market’s direction. But it will be probably another year before we know whether this trend will take root in a big way in 2019 or if it will take another five years before it truly impacts spending totals. Until then, we encourage subscribers to the Wainhouse Research Streaming and Webcasting service to click here for access to a premium report that provides all the nitty-gritty details on 2018 spending trends. Let me know if you see anything when you gaze into this crystal ball.