As service providers seek agility and operational efficiency in their networks, the global market for carrier software-defined networking (SDN) software, hardware and services is expected to grow from $103mln in 2014 to $5.7bln in 2019, according to IHS. “We’re still early in the long-term, 10- to 15-year transformation of service provider networks to SDN. Momentum is strong, but we won’t see widespread commercial deployments where bigger parts of—let alone whole—networks are controlled by SDN until 2016 through 2020,” said Michael Howard, senior research dir at HIS in a release. SDN software, including network apps and orchestration and controller software, is the critical piece that will convert a network into a software-defined network. The research firm predicts service providers around the world will increase their spending on SDN software by 15 times from 2015 to 2019. The newness of SDN technology and the changes it brings to networks creates “an incredible demand” for expertise to design, deploy and operate SDN-based services, and carriers are looking to vendors for this expertise, IHS said. It expects outsourced services for SDN projects to grow at a 2014-2019 Compound Annual Growth Rate of 199%.