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Who's Ready for Digital Transformation? No one.


By 2022, half of the CSPs that have completed commercial 5G deployments will fail to monetize their back-end technology infrastructure investments.

As Sigma’s survey shows, some operators have not yet shed their legacy approach to infrastructure and networks. They remain unable to embrace new digital practices such as omnichannel selling, DevOps (software development and information technology operations) for introducing a product to market, zero-touch automation for fulfillment, or a broad partner ecosystem that’s repeatable.

Any CSP that is not yet pivoting to a customer-centric, digitalized product and service delivery model faces a challenging journey amid the digital disruption affecting our industry. To stay ahead, CSPs must behave as Digital Service Providers (DSPs), prioritizing more predictable and repeatable operations and an innovation model, which is highly configurable and able to interface with other systems. To win at digital transformation, operators need to embrace digital innovation and enable rapid launch and fulfillment of new products and services through adopting agile B/OSS as an additive overlay to legacy systems. Emerging 5G technology provides the opportunity for CSPs to capitalize on their core strengths and lead as the revolution arrives.

The widespread implementation of 5G will mark the amalgamation of several game-changing communications and computing technologies that deliver a pioneering platform for the rapidly growing digital and intelligence-led economy. These innovations deliver a major increase in network speeds, extremely low latency, and markedly increased support for the device ecosystem that will power the Internet of Things.

As 5G and IoT proliferate, every industry will become a service provider and have B2B consumers, from energy, entertainment and transport to healthcare, government and agriculture. Indeed, these users will be just as demanding as the mobile phone customer on the street. Moreover, this change means that service providers will have to provide a seamless service, at scale, and right now. Where CSPs can conceptualize and provide new solutions for the enterprise sector, not consumer-led applications, 5G will be the catalyst to the expansion of CSP services beyond the current base of network customers.

By 2022, half of the CSPs that have completed commercial 5G deployments will fail to monetize their back-end technology infrastructure investments. According to Gartner, this is because systems will not fully meet 5G use-case requirements. 5G will bring even more types of networks that need their resources to be provisioned and activated. Therefore, the orchestration of multiple network resources is a must.

It is imperative that we stop thinking about 5G as merely a mobile technology. The advent of the 5G era will give rise to applications that CSPs can take to other industry verticals, and the real opportunity will be in providing a new breed of services and value creation to enterprises if they can get their systems in shape and offer slick, digitally driven services.

No one can say for certain how the coming years will play out in the digital world, and whether the predicted data and ‘things’ tsunami will hit us in the next half-decade. But it is on the horizon. While many CSPs think they still have time to get their houses in order before it arrives, they actually do not. Digitally native companies such as Amazon and Google, as well as those that are taking inspiration from them, are putting simplicity at the heart of their complicated operations. They are putting themselves in a favorable position that will hold fast when the storm comes. It may seem that no one is ready for digital transformation. But some are and others are catching up. It is imperative that all service providers get ready now or face the surge without a lifeboat.



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