By Amol Phadke, Global Network Strategy and Consulting Practice Lead, Accenture
The number of connected devices continues to grow rapidly, with Gartner forecasting that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017. With that growth comes unprecedented pressure on the network. Consumer expectations are at an all-time high; in the same way they expect their car to start or the electricity to work, they expect connectivity.
The end goal of most network technology developments is to make using connectivity as ubiquitous and simple as possible but that is no easy task with such a complex environment. The communications industry is making a lot of good progress in this space, although many hurdles, both expected and unexpected, remain.
The future health of a CSP’s business in this new hyper-connected world lies within three areas:
Prepare for the future with next generation platforms
The route to success lies firmly with the creation of next generation platforms, and software-defined networks (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) powered ecosystems. Without that foundation in place to power a platform-based digital business, the CSPs future will not be well constructed, forming a risky path ahead. In line with a solid foundation built on next generation networks, an application programming interface (API)-driven environment should be in place to allow for multi-vendor open automation. This will ensure the continued relevance of the platform and longevity of the future business.
Underpinning the new network models, is the ability to execute and deliver with agility and reliability. A DevOps and Agile approach should be taken to enable better collaboration and delivery, establishing a culture and environment where building, testing and releasing software can happen rapidly, frequently and fundamentally, more reliably. While this rotation to the new is critical, preserving the core and managing the current state is also still very relevant. Building overlay solutions that allow smooth migrations is one of many solutions that CSP’s will need to deploy to get to a dual speed mode of operation and develop the critical balance between the core and the new.
Remain relevant: Develop and launch new services to market, at speed and scale
If they are to remain relevant and drive new revenues, CSPs must continue to innovate and launch new services to market. This is likely the single highest priority on the CSP agenda.
CSPs today need to offer consumer facing services aroundnext generation enterprise, IoT integrations, 5G and home security. While the services offer new revenue opportunities for CSPs, they also create new challenges because the process for developing and launching them is in many ways, a completely new business function. As such, it has never been more important for CSPs to put tools and processes in place internally using advanced analytics and communication & collaboration-based offerings, which help to drive efficiencies through improved and streamlined processes. By doing this, time and money can be freed to re-skill or engage with new and established talent to support the new services and offerings.
Creating and Managing Real Time Operations
While many CSP’s are actively moving forward with their digital transformation agenda, existing processes are in place that must be maintained through the journey and enhanced. For example, implementing robotics-powered operational processes and tools to enable real time service delivery can leverage best in class digital consumer service experiences to create the ultimate customer experience with the smallest operating footprint. It is a question of skilfully balancing current business priorities with the vision and needs of the future.
By producing efficiencies like this, the focus can remain on the longer-term strategy of making the journey to become a platform based, digital CSP, ensuring the strength of the business for the future.
It is not just about doing one of these things to be successful. The action has to be taken across all three areas to realize the Pervasive Network and rotate to the new. Only then, can a CSP feel confident about their ability to remain relevant and competitive in the years to come.
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