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CSPs Need Industry Alignment On The Road To IoT

There’s nothing secret about the fact that for communications service providers, next-generation opportunities created by 5G and IoT will largely be centred on B2B. That’s not to say there isn’t any potential to create new revenue from consumers, given the evolving enhancements in network technology set to enable a new class of immersive consumer entertainment services. But when it comes to capitalising on technology advancements, it is the enterprise sector where all the action is.

We live in interesting times and the last 18 months or so have seen a significant change in the way we live and the way we do business across the globe. According to a survey from consulting firm EY, more than half of enterprises are more interested in 5G and IoT than before the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the firm’s Reimagining Industry Futures report, areas which saw an increase in interest included critical infrastructure monitoring and control, supply-chain management and orchestration, and systems and process optimisation. This period of uncertainty seems to have highlighted the importance of technology in being able to mitigate this in order to enable business – as much as possible – as usual.

Hansen’s own B2B Telecom & Tech Index found there was an appreciation of the broad ways in which next-generation network technology could change the way we do business. While there was a strong belief in technology as an enabler of new revenue, supported by 80 per cent of respondents, a similar number (76 per cent) saw the opportunity to enable agility within the business.

But there was another area in which our findings aligned with those of EY: CSPs have work to do in order to cement their position as enablers of digital transformation for their enterprise customers. EY found that while CSPs were well-positioned as experts in IoT, for example, their standing took a knock when it comes to expertise in digital transformation – creating a ‘credibility gap‘ in the way they are seen by enterprises.

Our B2B Telecom & Tech Index found that 67 per cent of enterprises believe that CSPs must align more closely with their business, with a lack of understanding of their specific business requirements cited as the biggest pain point in relationships. And this is a problem. If the opportunity comes from using technology to transform industries, then shouldn’t you better understand the specific needs and requirements of those industries in the first place?

You may be asking, “You’re Hansen. So where’s the CSP software angle to all this?” And the answer is that with decades of experience under our belts, helping service providers create, deliver and monetise services powered by the latest network capabilities, we do have some opinions to share.

The long and short of it all is that if CSPs are going to become true partners in enterprises’ digitalisation journeys, then they need software platforms that will give them the flexibility to meet customer requirements, with the agility required in a digitally-driven world. And that means the ability to bring partner-enabled solutions to market, to sell complex B2B propositions, and seamlessly deliver massive IoT deployments, in the specific form demanded by the customer.

Of course, much of the changes needed to become true digital transformation partners to enterprises aren’t about technology; they are about people, skills and processes. But all the people, skills and processes in the world won’t help if stifled by legacy technology – and that’s something we’re happy to talk about more.

To view our latest IoT content, click here. Otherwise, drop us a line.

Steve Costello,
Product & Solutions Marketing Manager