Dining out on data: telcos take their share

11 December 2015 | Chris Mills

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Chris Mills

Blog Author | Pivotal; CTO, EMEA


The telecommunications industry is being transformed overnight as consumers’ insatiable appetite for data and faster, better quality services continues to grow. Small steps towards digital transformation are no longer enough.

The telecommunications industry is being transformed overnight as consumers’ insatiable appetite for data and faster, better quality services continues to grow. Small steps towards digital transformation are no longer enough. 

Despite being worth upwards of $5 trillion, it’s bending to the pressure of an ever more mobile and tech-savvy customer base; and those that fail to adapt risk being left in the dust. 

But it’s not all bad news. Telcos have an advantage up their sleeve - data - which can be used to capture new points of value for customers, increase their relevance within world services and ultimately increase their profit margins. How then, can telcos maximise the value of the data at their fingertips?

 

Getting on top of security regulations

Access to and movement of data has just got a whole lot more complex, with the European Court of Justice recently ruling that the transatlantic Safe Harbour agreement is invalid. The repercussions could be huge, forcing US organisations to transfer their European user data to Europe and follow 20 or more different sets of national data-privacy policies. Telcos must get on top of this, and fast, so that they can determine which consumer data sets can be aggregated and moved where. 

 

Building scalability into the business model

The number of connected devices, and resultant volumes of data, is constantly on the rise, with Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications report recently forecasting that by the end of this year, one billion wireless Internet of Things (IoT) devices will have been shipped. Telco organisations must put provisions in place to enable their business models to be scaled up or down, as consumer demands shift; ensuring hardware and software can be rapidly provisioned to meet data requirements. 

 

Collaborating with other technologies and services

Many telcos still operate in siloes, but in order to gain a holistic view of the organisation and ensure data can be managed and moved securely across different geographies, they need to take a more collaborative approach. A thriving collaborative ecosystem will ensure the technology becomes more stable and offers more capabilities, making it easier to adopt and use, in a shorter amount of time. 

 

Facing such a rapid pace of change, telco organisations must make a fundamental shift in order to survive. Consumer data is there to be taken advantage of and what telcos need to concentrate on now is transforming these great swathes of information into tangible revenue. Part of this change requires a move away from outdated, siloed processes and open collaboration with other technologies and services. By embracing innovation in this way, telcos will be able to give digital-first consumers what they need, gaining new revenue sources as a result.