Bette Davis, once famously said in the 1950 film, All About Eve, “Fasten your seat belts, its going to be a bumpy ride!”. The path for cloud investment is becoming very clear. The business case to automate service creation and management by leveraging cloud-economics for a vast range of services is understood. The accelerated speed of deployment coupled with the realisation of revenues meets the expectations of our fast moving digital society. Many now acknowledge that the old telco commercial model is less and less sustainable and the appetite for pure “As a Service” solution has increased significantly within the last 12-18 months. This market demand is likely to drive the commercial change required, along with the technical motivations for cloud.
Virtualisation, automation, orchestration, opensource are clear technology drivers for cloud. However it’s the applications and use cases associated with 5G slicing and IOT commodisation, federation and sheer volume that make IT cloud the only option for operators to consider as they embrace full digital adoption.
We are, however, still very much at the beginning of the learning curve when it comes to adopting new software architectures, tools and mindsets required to monetise, control data and automate decisions using cloud technology. Operators themselves have been slow to migrate from private to public hosted solutions. The Digital Service Provider models will need to resemble more established internet models and will require a change in how the relationships, experience and subscriptions are managed. As the industry migrates along this cloud transformation path, initial use cases will be driven by connectivity but over time, industries will emerge based on capabilities of consuming data at rates not possible today.
The economic scalability of cloud technology will embrace the mass volumes of transactional data expected from IOT and 5G will find a natural home in cloud native and hosted platforms. A class of use cases and services however, that are heavily reliant and sensitive to latency speeds (policy and charging for example), will require a more considered approach. In addition to latency speed, numerous economical considerations, transport costs and storage costs need to be factored in to derive the best solution architecture and business model.
These architectural and design challenges herald exciting times ahead as we begin to change to a higher gear of real-time processing, decisions, reporting and synthesis of data, to cater for next-level analysis, prediction, and transaction response required to support the forecasted for trillions of 5G IOT events. Sure ain’t going to be dull, that’s for sure!