Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you know that everything down to the kitchen sink will be connected in 2020. Three worlds racing ahead at a bewildering pace to ensure this happens: device makers, platform developers and telecoms operators.
The new digital economy spells disruption for telecoms companies, bogged down by saturating markets, regulatory pressures and declining ARPU. With their rich store of information on subscribers and extensive connectivity assets operators have a treasuer trove of opportunity in the new environment.
But first, telecoms and IT have to build mutually beneficial relationships to profit from fresh opportunities. The silo mentality where telecoms and IT stuck to their own kind, cannot continue. The new clients in town are cab companies, content companies, social media apps, hospitality providers or travel planners, whose products are increasingly consumed through the mobile phone.
Telecom assets like network reach, geo-location, customer call centres, billing services, and big data can help digital enterprises expand the breadth of their platforms. They can also provide valuable services like analytics, fraud prevention and privacy protection.
Integrate this with cloud based solutions, software driven network efficiency platforms like Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), and suddenly the marketplace looks a whole lot more exciting.
Telecoms and IT speak to each other free of jargon and with a can-do approach towards tweaking business and revenue models. I’m thinking this process will begin in earnest in 2017: looking for the M&As, alliances and JVs that will signal the first snowflakes before the avalanche.
The more the two sides are willing to adapt to each other’s way of speaking and working, the bigger the pay offs for everyone. Else it’s downhill all the way.
Sort of like the world itself, really. A safe, happy and prosperous holiday and 2017 to everyone.