“Digital Transformation” is a term often applied to the telecommunications industry today. Traditional telecom lines of business have been experiencing declining margins in the face of fierce competition, market saturation and commoditization. At the same time, disruptive ‘over the top’ alternatives have held global telecom revenues flat in 2013 at about $1.7 Trillion worldwide.
In response, the telecom industry is making fundamental changes to their business. These changes often include efforts to improve business agility, collaboration and operational efficiency; more reliance on business partnerships; enhanced multi-channel customer experience management and supporting advanced business analytics. There is also continued heavy investment in IT and network technologies.
However, there is something new in these technology investments; IT and network investments are beginning to become aligned in how they are both driving towards supporting New Digital Services enabled by common supporting ecosystems.
Historically, there was a significant separation maintained between computer applications and voice and data networks. Today computer applications such as Telco BSS/OSS or financial, manufacturing and retail LOB applications are being decomposed into their sub-functions expressed as APIs to enhance agility and reusability. The IT infrastructure is being moved to a Cloud model enabling “IT as a Service”. At the same time, the networks are shifting to all IP based converged system for voice and data enabling “Network as a Service”. The systems that manage both IP data transport and wireless networks increasingly are moving to common virtualized x86 platforms.
We are transitioning to a world where both IT workloads and network workloads can be hosted on common x86 cloud computing architectures. These workloads consume IT Functions and Network Functions hosted on either on-premises “private clouds”, such as the Microsoft Cloud OS, or off-premises “public clouds” such as Azure. Regardless of where they are hosted, they are interconnected via network clouds, such as MPLS, to form a fabric of “hybrid clouds”.
The resulting Digital Value-Mesh provides the agility, performance, and reliability needed to meet the ever increasing demands of the digital economy in a highly mobile world.