6 Critical Steps to Ensuring Cloud OSS/BSS Transformation Success
As operators consider the adoption of cloud technology, a guided strategy from experts will help ensure that these migrations will reach their goals.
For the telecommunications industry, the transition to cloud technology is important and inevitable, whether due to costs, scalability or other reasons. In a 2017 ICT Intuition survey of 100 operator executives, 75% said they are considering or will have implemented cloud-based OSS or BSS within two years. If that’s the case, there should be a lot of cloud OSS/BSS solutions and managed services on the horizon. But a cautious line is being taken, and likely with good reason.
Cloud technology is an important advancement, but transitioning to a desired enablement endpoint requires planning, vision, skills and a willingness to change. These consultative steps require significant time and investment, and that is why the migration to cloud is taking time. First comes desire and finally execution, yet in between there is significant planning and change that affects every aspect of an operator’s business.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
As operators define and consider cloud OSS/BSS transformations, there are strategies that, while applicable to most technology projects, are especially important when considering cloud migrations.
- Examine the business for solid, repeatable processes. Cloud solutions are extremely capable but, if existing processes aren’t working, porting them to the cloud won’t solve anything.
- Examine the systems and applications used to implement those processes and trade off the costs and benefits of a cloud approach. Cloud technology results in predictable costs with less development and maintenance, however a strong business case is still needed for each migration or conversion. Cloud OSS/BSS will not replace older legacy systems overnight, so prioritize and plan for parallel operations.
- Work with vendors that embrace standards. The lessons learned in previous technology evolutions need to be applied to cloud initiatives. Vendors developing cloud solutions and services should avoid closed solutions and opt for open, standard platforms and interfaces.
- Standardize scale. Designing cloud solutions that can scale from end to end, not just grow bigger, is the most difficult part of any technology deployment. Merely adding more capacity is not scaling and bottlenecks will simply move from one part of the operation to another.
- Insist on security. In the interest of reducing cost or time-to-market, cloud solution providers may not have adequately considered security, but the damage from a security breach will be felt by the operator that implements the system not the vendor or integrator that installed it.
- Embrace integration. Recognize that any physical, virtual, cloud, network or IT component might someday have to be integrated with another. Enforce corporate standards, and include interoperability in requests for proposals and discussions of system requirements.
Moving back office operations to the cloud is much more than just an infrastructure refresh. It is an opportunity to implement new technologies and applications that will save money, reduce risk and improve performance. The factors that put these deployments most at risk – security, standards, and cost – must be addressed now to ensure that operators are successful.