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CSP digital transformation: leapfrogging competition via an agile transformation framework

Dr Mark H. Mortensen Research Director
John Abraham Principal Analyst, Research
Anil Rao Principal Analyst, Research

"CSPs must have a vision and create short-term projects that seed their BSS and OSS architecture with new software technologies and processes, and some should work with a trusted advisor with a proven agile transformation framework."

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Communications service providers (CSPs) do not have a choice about digitising their business and operations systems to compete – it is either digitalise or die. However, there are earnest debates on what really is digitisation, and how best to get it done. The big question faced by CSPs is "How do I transform from my legacy systems and processes into a modern, agile operation, without jeopardising ongoing operations?" In making the transformation, CSPs must tackle near-term operational challenges associated with supporting new digital services in a digital manner.

The transformation path is unique to every CSP, but each path shares some common characteristics. For instance, the path is driven from a digital vision of the CSP's business and network; the path provides both near-term and long-term value setting priority by the value delivered; the path is customer-centric in design and implemented using fast iteration approaches.

Each CSP chooses a transformation path based on its current maturity, competitive state and goals in three areas: digital services (beyond connectivity), digital experience and digital agility of business and network operations.

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A good agile transformation framework will take these endpoints and map a path using a set of techniques that come from the traditional communications business combined with new processes and technologies that have been honed by the web-scale companies over the last two decades. Key new areas include:
• cloud-based, agile software for both the business and network that maximise the use of digitalised interfaces, artificial intelligence, automated business processes, ubiquitous orchestration and a virtualised network infrastructure
• new value chains built on open platforms that will lead to greater collaboration among ecosystem partners and new delivery models for software-based systems that will provide greatly decreased infrastructure costs and increased security
• implementing new delivery models based on modern software methodologies, which will drive agility in development, deployment and operations.

Figure 1: Effect of an agile transformation framework