Cloud to the rescue: How the Telecommunications industry can benefit from the cloud
Cloud to the rescue: How the Telecommunications industry can benefit from the cloudIt’s hard these days to avoid some type of discussion concerning the cloud when speaking of the communications industry. As consumers of technology, ‘cloud’ is an increasingly common part of our vocabulary (we now even have the convenience of backing up data on the typical smart device on to the cloud). The question for those of working in this industry is how to leverage the cloud for our business? The typical Communications Service Providers (CSPs) for example, continue to be focused on operational efficiency by shifting the financial burden from capital to operating expenses. It’s almost inconceivable to raise expenses in a hyper competitive market without somehow passing on that price rise on to the consumer and this spells doom when customer churn and low customer satisfaction rates are among the top of the CSPs lists of concerns. Here lies the dilemma: bandwidth explosion in the future will bring many more services, potential customers, as well as competition , however CSPs can’t just keep adding capital and provide the necessary services and rates at a reasonable level to the end user and keep customer satisfaction rates at a reasonable level.
Enter the cloud. Moving to the cloud offers great incentives through software license savings, hardware savings, lower labor and IT support costs. By taking an enterprise approach, the service providers can plan and manage their internal transformations to cloud based solutions while prioritizing what internal development and test environments make the most sense for the Cloud.
So what exactly does a cloud deployment mean for the CSP? Many are moving to the cloud for their own internal IT operations for many of the reasons mentioned previously. Then there is the development aspect, how can my Network and IT developers take advantage of the cloud when building applications? A primary use case for CSPs leveraging the cloud is to create a platform for testing. Using the cloud for testing can be advantageous, as to truly test a service you need the network. The CSP may want to simulate a scenario on how the network responds to thousands of requests, which could ultimately consume many physical resources. It is more cost effective to use these resources in an on-demand way, through the cloud, so that testing resources are used only when needed and scalable to any bandwidth of testing the service provider may need to do. Another approach is to run the development environment on the cloud. The advantage here is to remove the burden of installation, maintenance, scalability, and cost to name a few. By configuring the appropriate cloud images, you can ensure the development teams are working off the same development platform, which is especially important when you deal with geographically distributed teams.
So how does the CSP go about a cloud transformation? First the service provider must identify how the cloud could fit into its business strategy—and associated business architecture. It needs to determine which workloads would be better in a cloud environment rather than a local environment and ensure that the transformation to cloud improves operations without causing unforeseen disruption. To figure out how to get to where you want to be in the future, you need to first understand where you are, and that is where you leverage an Enterprise Architecture (EA) approach. To understand the current state of your business and how well it operates today a CSP could use a standard industry blue print for business process modeling to model their business strategy in order to decide how to transition workloads from a localized environment to a cloud environment. So the EA blueprint really provides context for the integration of strategies, systems, people and processes and helps CSPs visualize relationships, perform analysis, report on status, and really to build a governance model for their organization. This will ensure that business requirements are driving cloud deployment.
IBM Rational has some unique offerings in the area of the cloud and to find out more you can visit this site, or you can check out the following podcast:
Listen to the podcast: Deploying communication services with and without the cloud
Effective cloud based service deploymentCSPs continue to be focused on operational efficiency by shifting the financial burden from capital to operating expenses through new collaborative business models. By taking an enterprise approach CSPs can plan and manage their internal transformations to cloud based solutions through the Rational Unified Service Creation Environment. Scott Niemann, speaker.
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