In 2020, one common theme that we have seen amongst businesses big and small was the building of resilient networks. The new normal has accelerated digitization many folds and organizations are navigating how they leverage advanced technology to aid virtualization, remote connectivity, shift to cloud, connected security, and e2e automation.
We have seen the future workplace radically changing, with the modern workplace moving to a hybrid model, where physical locations and remote working will need to be delivered seamlessly and securely. The result of this change has major implications on the organization’s infrastructure. IDC in a recent report surveying business impact across Asia Pacific revealed that almost half (44%) of organizations have accelerated transformation while 54% have increased IT spend.
Areas such as remote connectivity have also caused a huge surge in traffic and increasing pressure on the network. Service providers, in response, have had to drive efficiency while managing severe CAPEX constraints. This has only heightened the anticipation of 5G and the opportunities it delivers through its speed, scale, density, efficiency, low latency, and bandwidth.
Reevaluating Enterprise Architecture
All enterprise customers are reevaluating the foundational parameters of building IT architecture. Businesses have to undergo major operational and behavioral changes, which are set to continue.
Therefore, efforts need to be made to pivot to an architecture that is agile, secure, and helps in value creation. Additionally, the architecture for the modern workplace needs to be open to thrive in a digital world.
The north star architecture for the service providers who are large enterprises in themselves; needs to focus on the following four important parameters which should solve superior user experience, reduced cost of production (CAPEX + OPEX), grow revenue, and mitigate risk. This forms the basis for evolving the strategy of building a service agile, Open, efficient, and automated architecture that will enable Service providers to deliver Digital value plays for all enterprises that will benefit from digitization and hence create enormous value for SP and the entire ecosystem.
Architecture Supporting Digital Transformation 2.0
With rapid digitization, organizational transformation is a top priority for businesses. A successful transformation would account for advanced technologies going mainstream, ensuring connectivity, effectiveness, and proving to be cost-effective. Be it virtualization, e2e automation. AR/VR, the Internet of Things, a new innovation in data, analytics, edge, and connected security is taxing the current architecture.
Network transformation: Service providers are innovating at breakneck speed to address network complexities. With the rise in data consumption (particularly Video), enormous bandwidth demands, need for connected security and automation, there is a resurgence of demand to fast track journey to new north-star for architecture removing complexity and delayering the network to take cost out as well as solve for zero-touch provisioning and connected security. Flattening of the network vision can be achieved by making strategic decisions on converging IP and Optical, bring in automation in every element of network and network operations, suberising complex OSS/BSS systems to ensure self-provisioning, self-billing, and self-care, and last but not least ensuring connected security from the core all the way to end terminal, IoT device or machines that are getting connected.
Data center transformation: We are entering an era of digitization and monetization is only guaranteed through instant gratification. That is the mantra that will drive monetization in industry 4.0. Instant gratification can only be achieved through instant capture of data, analytics, deriving insights, and creating value. Also, bring data back to central repositories will consume bandwidth/infrastructure, data is perishable, if not treated instantly lose value. Hence transformation to the disaggregated data center / multiservice edge compute and analytics is where the game has moved to. Ability to secure data, apply data analytics to draw insights, the ability to cache data are critical for value creation and true monetization.
Multi-Cloud: The emergence of the public cloud and the efficiency and elasticity it can provide to store and manage non-critical IT and consumer data and the need for Telco data centers to ensure critical workloads are managed within the guardrail of service providers calls for a multi-cloud strategy. This will ensure that Service providers will get the best of both worlds while also ensuring sensitivity with regards to consumer data, data sovereignty, and in many countries, compliance with regulatory requirements.
Zero-trust & Ubiquitous security: With remote connectivity and edge computing the notion of the perimeter is disappearing. The new era of security relies on connected security with zero trusts. The architecture needs to be predictable with threats, be able to contain them, and alert the rest of the infrastructure. Also, automation plays a huge role to free up important personnel for innovation.
Executing on above four transformational shifts pro-actively will ensure telco’s/ service providers are capable of delivering digital value plays for all industry verticals, leveraging the entire ecosystem of technology, applications, and industry vertical specialist through this digital platform will ensure monetization and tremendous value creation. A win-win-win for service providers, enterprise verticals and technology, application, and content providers.