Telecom Industry is Rapidly Changing; Pointers for CIOs to Stay on Top

By Telecom Tech Outlook | Wednesday, October 30, 2019

There is a driving wave of change in the air and CIOs need to adapt to these changes and pick the right strategy to keep the business up and running. A study across more than 50 leading telecom service providers around the world showed three influential megatrends common to the entire industry

Fremont, CA: The advent of 5G has caused the global telecommunications industry to go through a complete makeover. Telecom companies are now tasked with delivering agility and innovation to keep their customers happy and attract new ones. At the front lines of this transformation are the CIOs who need to ensure that the right strategies are being implemented at the right time. There is a driving wave of change in the air and CIOs need to adapt to these changes and pick the right strategy to keep the business up and running. A study across more than 50 leading telecom service providers around the world showed three influential megatrends common to the entire industry.

These three megatrends represent a combination of evolving technology, business imperatives, and shifting market dynamics.

Searching for Growth: There is an unquenchable thirst for improved services, and service providers are finding it more and more challenging to grow their top line any further. In most regions, the internet and mobile markets have already hit their saturation point.

Optimizing the Traditional Telecom: There is new technology coming in every day, and these provide a range of opportunities for telecom companies to improve their existing technologies and making them more streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective.

Taking a New Look at the Industry: Service providers have to deal with new competitions and must always up to their game in order to stay in business. The focus in the industry has changed from core services to other short term services.

CIOs need to address these megatrends and ensure their business can compete with the new industry standards. Telecom service providers are experimenting with new strategies and techniques to offer the latest services to their customers. Here are three emerging strategies that are commonly used by the CIOs to manage operations during this period of transformations.

Growth Through Diversification

By diversifying the business from basic connectivity, CIOs can focus on an array of options to enhance the customer experience. Tie-ups with third party services like utilities, food delivery, banking, and mobile payment platforms will attract more customers towards the network. In order to ensure the smooth functioning of these additional services, CIOs need to make their organization ecosystem ready. The third-party services need to go along with the telecom service providers own functions, like a unified front end system for billing, bundling, assurance, and other customer-facing processes. CIOs need to stay on top of these systems and should be the architects of the structure. This will make it simpler to facilitate and operate an open ecosystem that supports diversification through growth, acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and investments.

Telecom service providers need to serve varying clients and diverse portfolios. CIOs must roll out advanced network infrastructure with agile capabilities like 5G network slicing, under which dedicated portions of the network is assigned to particular people for specific services, applications or solutions.

Becoming Digital Service Providers

The digital transformation of the telecom industry is driven by 5G and the CIOs need to be at the forefront of this drive to ensure that the required software is in place to ensure true digital agility. Agility can take different forms like supporting customer interactions through digital channels, Improving the speed of communications while giving subscribers greater transparency and control over service usage through software-defined networks, and launching digital second brands to target specific markets. With the enormous scope comes the increased number of complexities involved.

In most cases, the existing infrastructure in an organization may seem inadequate to provide for the agility. CIOs are developing all-new platforms that will cater to these needs specifically, and support the new brands. Many network operators are launching a second brand built on cloud-native IP architecture, with minimal connections to the older systems.

Focus is on the Customer

Earlier, there were very few service providers in the markets and customers had to pick one and adjust to what was there to offer. The scenario has now turned. There is an increasing number of service providers entering the market, each with their concepts of packages that provide a lot to the customers. The capabilities of the network are no longer determined by the interests of the company, but by that of the needs of the customer. More and more telecom service providers are embracing customer-centric approaches where they try to meet the demands of the customer and provide them with the version of the network best suited for them.

Once again, CIOs take the lead in helping streamline by breaking down silos and looking holistically at the entire life cycle. CIOs need to implement analytics to leverage the massive amounts of customer data collected for use by teams in marketing and other departments.

As more and more companies look to grow along these lines, the role of CIOs in ensuring smooth implementation of changes is very significant. The systems established by the CIOs will be critical in enabling, marketing, selling, provisioning, and operating new business models and delivering 5G compatible network. The role of CIOs is increasing in complexity with more and more diverse functions coming in with the advent of each new technology. There needs to be a focus on innovation, disruption and experimentation to drive new business and establish an agile corporate culture that embraces changes.