The pandemic was a catalyst for innovation in telecommunications, not a crisis

Much to the relief of businesses and consumers worldwide, the telecommunications (telco) industry capably adapted to COVID-19. No major service interruptions were experienced in any country, providing much-needed stability as countless systems were upended, and the foundation upon which remote working, online commerce, and internet usage could rapidly expand to meet the increased dependencies of consumers and businesses.

To enable this, telco companies aggressively expanded their capacities, even as cost pressures from the pandemic drove internal process and cash optimization, reductions in time-to-market, and the simplification of operations and offerings.

Telco companies cannot afford to sit still – significant change is afoot

As a telco leader, there are plenty of issues that currently warrant your attention. Alongside perpetual concerns such as guaranteeing network stability, cost optimization, and improving customer feedback, technologies such as Internet of Things, 5G, and Edge Computing are rapidly coming into focus.

You need to know how you can position your businesses to take full advantage of these advancements. Traditionally, this would involve developing effective in-house solutions which would succeed even if your business was not the innovator or first mover, but this approach is being outmoded.

The startups pioneering the breakout telco technologies of today have faster time-to-market than ever before. The duration it takes for a telco business to develop in-house responses to new technologies now lags significantly behind lean, agile startup efforts, resulting in wasted resources and poor results.

Telco leaders must adapt to platform business models to secure their futures

The answer is a transition to platform-based business models. This typically involves identifying industry verticals that you can embed your networks within, identifying startup technology partners in need of network connectivity and expertise, then leveraging your significant resources and a prototyping, design-thinking, fail-fast mindset to enable and propel startup technologies.

By diverting resources away from developing in-house software to establishing partnerships, you can set standards and expectations, working, keeping pace, and succeeding with startups, as opposed to wasting resources competing, only to be overtaken.

This also requires a change in leadership outlook. Up until now, many telco leaders have experienced short tenures and exhibited equally short-term outlooks. The transition to platform-based business models will occur over the next 10-15 years – long-term strategy, vision, and commitment are required to guarantee success.

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Discover how BearingPoint can help your telecommunications business adopt and develop new and effective business models – contact our experts today.

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