April 24, 2019

Digital Transformation in Telecommunication: Challenge or Opportunity?

If network transformation is a way of the future, then the digital transformation in the telecom market has to be constantly dynamic to adapt to any change. The key is to shape the perspective of telecommunication companies in terms of how they see network transformation; it can be a challenge or an opportunity.

An effective roadmap will build a strong network infrastructure where access, and core network elements could be balanced out for more cost-effectiveness and better delivery mechanisms in digital transformation.

Role of a Digital Transformation Tracker

The execution of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) are appreciated by Communications Services Providers (CSPs), but it’s not enough to bring about digital transformation. A consensus by TM Forum Digital Transformation (DTT) affirms that more than 44% of CSPs want reliable network transformation that takes digital transformation to new heights.

CSPs are gradually getting more attention with regards to how they’ve deployed NFV with packet core while others have also implemented Virtual Customer Premises Equipment (vCPE).

Slow Progression of Network Transformation for CSPs

Here are some of the core factors that are directly responsible for the slow progression of network transformation for CSPs:

Reasonability

Communications services providers (CSPs) can’t just ignore the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and Operational Expenditure (OPEX) to achieve transformation. Most CSPs face the wall of uncertainty and are hesitant to initiate the digital transformation process because it demands a certain amount of change to reap from the benefits.

Safety

To safeguard systems and data from possible threats, like hacking and malware, CSPs will have to consider a new model of network transformation. We have to make some changes to achieve digital transformation. These are:

  •  How core component and system levels are monitored
  • Modifying security requirements due to collaborative partners
  • Hosting and processing of personal data

Impact on OSS/BSS

It may be early, but TM Forum has introduced an Open Digital Architecture (ODA) as a possible cloud-based system replacement for traditional OSS/BSS. CSPs transformation goals can only be achieved if they unequivocally support the revamped OSS/BSS that adheres to overall architectural guidelines.

HR Cost & Standards

Cross-functioning departments can be transitioned depending on how effectively the network operations are virtualizing to the cloud. That said, CSPs have always found it difficult and even tiresome to converge multi-departmental tasks and strategies into a single collaborative effort.

Without a clear roadmap, CSPs do not want to migrate to another network. It might be beneficial for the foreseeable future, but a certain level of maturity and class is needed to implement the vision to bring about the digital transformation.

Opportunity

The digital economy is dominated by platform-based players from Microsoft, Alibaba to Uber. It’s up to telecom companies how professionally they can use their assets to create effective billing software systems.

Avoiding Risks

CSPs have to be constantly aware and updated to take the desired path where digital transformation is headed. For instance, less focus is given to the scalability of microservices, which is directly linked to how management flexibility and quick turnaround time is important.

Another risk factor that CSPs need to avoid is automation. Its operational efficiency determines whether OPEX will go up or down. Automation is essentially vital because it determines the network management workload for CSPs. They can even tweak and divide the workflow requirements, depending on the business outcome.

As per a DTT survey, more than 31% of CSPs have now adopted DevOps. It’s still not enough to register a domain without any proper integration with vendors and other operators that might be working together.

Furthermore, it all comes down to how telecom companies utilize open APIs that inherently reflects how smooth their network is being run on an SDN and NFV environment. CSPs need to analyze how critical architectures are for a successful and agile network. They will build the most complex and varied levels of application infrastructures in the future.

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