Many CSPs have grown through mergers and acquisitions, creating hundreds of duplicate applications on various infrastructures. This has created a need for application strategy and more specifically application modernization to reduce cost and complexity. Moreover, CSPs must evolve into leaner, more intelligent and customer-centric organizations to remain competitive. In order to achieve long-term profitability, CSPs will need to tactically develop and implement their applications.
As competition from non-traditional challengers mounts, and more processes are brought into cloud-hosted environments, CSPs will need to clearly lay out their application strategy – and their roadmap for application modernization.
Factors that will drive CSP application modernization strategies:
- Operational efficiency through moving mature core processes to the Cloud: Basic provisioning, billing and fault & event management processes are being moved to the cloud. CSPs make cloud-hosted applications available to external developers at partners, i.e. content providers, in order to integrate new value-added services with their core processes easier. Moreover, CSPs who operate across geographies have brought their mature core processes to the cloud in order to provide easier access across their organizations. Those applications that are strategic differentiators such as core network inventories or customized experience management are generally kept on-premise.
- New communications innovations:
- Mobile data revenue is forecasted to overtake voice revenue. This shift will force CSPs to invest in applications that support new services and subsequent business models.
- Following large rollouts of LTE networks, CSPs will seek to differentiate themselves and drive return on their investments. Network APIs will become essential for bringing innovative consumer applications quickly to the market.
- Non-carrier Chat apps and mobile VoIP are besieging the voice market. To remain in the game, CSPs will have to have a Rich Communications Suite strategy.
- Increased engagement with end-customers: The proliferation of smartphones and m-commerce presents CSPs with the opportunity to save operational costs through self-help and increase revenues through cross- and up-selling opportunities, as well as contextualized recommendations. In the short-term, self-service applications will probably focus on billing, simple transactional processes and trouble shooting. In the medium-term, self-service applications are expected to include m-commerce functionalities, entertainment and other third-party offerings, as well as location-based advertising.