Cloud Technology – A Key Enabler of Communication Service Providers Transformation – Toolbox

As CSPs go through a digital transformation journey, cloud technology can become a key driver. In this article, Samit Banerjee, division president, Amdocs, discusses how the technology can build sustainability, competitive advantage, and resiliency of the CSPs.

It is well accepted that the pandemic has accelerated the pace of digitization across industries, and the telecom sector or the communication service providers (CSPs) are not an exception to this. In fact, the industry is seeing the democratization of IT services, the need for open, agile, and flexible platforms, the rise of smart, intelligent businesses driven by innovative technologies such as AI, IoT, and big data. Further, the industry has been able to negotiate the abrupt shift to remote working and digital space with the support of cloud computing, reaching out to millions, providing stable internet connections and services over multiple devices. In fact, globally, the telecom cloud market was valued at $25.33 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $74.36 billion by 2026.

However, during this transformation journey, many CSPs have continued to keep their on-premise telecom platforms. In the ever-evolving digital landscape where the world is getting hyperconnected, legacy unscalable technology infrastructures with siloed operating systems are no longer viable for supporting the performance and virtualization that businesses need to operate efficiently and productively.

There is a need to drive the transformation strategy through modernizing the systems to improve customer experience and reduce costs. Here, cloud technology can prove to be highly vital for building the sustainability, competitive advantage, and resiliency of the CSPs, in both business support systems (BSS) and operations support systems (OSS) areas.

Key Focus Areas in CSPs’ Digital Journey

Today, establishing a modern digital infrastructure that offers optimal network speeds and responsiveness to the customers involves multiple steps to be undertaken by the CSPs, ranging from becoming virtualization experts, sorting through a large number of vendors and products to architect the ideal infrastructure, and executing new technology in an optimal way, all of which without causing any disruption in the existing services or offerings.

A majority of the CSPs are now realizing that a smart, native cloud-based approach towards BSS/OSS combined with an omnichannel customer experience is a business imperative. This has given rise to a greater need for these players to adopt cloud technology that can help to make the existing infrastructure faster, more responsive, and more automated.

Another key area that these organizations need to focus on is the fact that investments in 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) can offer better opportunities for developing new business and operational models based on collaborative, multi-partner business models instead of CSPs mirroring legacy data centers deployments in the cloud. With CSPs turning into multiservice providers to enhance customer experiences, this move has accelerated the need to support more data capacity options and demand from IoT and 5G mobile data. This includes 4K/8K resolution video content that would require providers to speed broadband up or down and charge users for different skills.

See More: Enterprise Multi-cloud Strategies Won’t Work With Legacy Tech – Here’s Why

Benefits of Cloudification for CSPs

Keeping in mind the company’s digital roadmap, CSPs need to start considering cloud computing as a major growth driver, especially in the post-pandemic business ecosystem. Some of the major benefits that accentuate this include:

Enhancing cost efficiency: This technology can aid in reducing operating costs of software and hardware resources, thus increasing the infrastructure’s efficiency and scalability. To really benefit from cloud migration, CSPs must reinvent processes and workflows and redo financial models to be leaner and more flexible.

Offers scalability: Cloud enables the organizations’ ability to scale on-demand, supporting their efforts for automation of operations and optimization of networks that can improve real-time response and reporting. Further, hyperscalers can help CSPs in preparing the deployment architecture and sizing details for their digital transformation strategies, enabling faster mobilization of virtualization, storage, and compute layers of the infrastructure. Strategically using both public cloud and hybrid cloud models to take advantage of the strengths of multiple providers can help CSPs in achieving scalability of operations.

Hastens time to market: Cloud can help CSPs compete with internet-based companies by speeding up the service design, testing, and deployment.

Securing important data: Cloud offers the users the means to backup, store, and secure their critical data across multiple locations to carry on with the business immediately, even during unprecedented times of crisis, such as the ongoing pandemic.

Boost innovations in offerings: By empowering organizations to leverage technologies such as big data analytics, AI, machine learning, augmented reality, chatbots, internet of things (IoT), cloud solutions can help companies develop innovative products and services for their customers. Utilizing the historical trends along with other datasets to build customized solutions, targeted rate schemes, as well as other value-adds can help CSPs increase their network capability, usage, and overall performance.

See More: Hybrid Cloud: First Step Towards System Integration

Must-do Strategies for an Effective Shift to Cloud

While CSPs are increasingly realizing the various benefits that cloud computing brings to the table, many organizations are unable to understand how they can practically migrate into the cloud to reduce their costs. Thus, we must consider the following to successfully navigate cloud computing enablement:

Firstly, it is vital to establish the right company culture around innovation and change management. This entails having leaders and decision-makers who understand the possibility of business and technical implications arising due to migration to cloud-native capabilities and are well-equipped to deal with such issues. 

Another important strategy for ensuring seamless cloud migration of the IT infrastructure and use of the various cloud-based solutions is to upskill the workforce. Doing so requires facilitating organizational goals to become data-driven, laying down executive-level accountability, and cross-functional oversight for data intelligence activities.

CSPs must not get fixated too much on cost savings, which can become a negative driver in the transformation.

Last but not least, leaders must proceed with the understanding that everything may not be clear on day one of cloud migration. It is crucial to apply iterative processes to reach the final destination.

Conclusion

As various digital trends can be seen disrupting the communications industry and giving rise to new and massive growth opportunities, the need of the hour is to adopt cloud computing as the key enabler within CSPs digital roadmap. The cloud is the scaffolding on which a truly agile and pervasively transformed CSP business can be built.

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