This sea change in ICT sourcing has been driven by significant shifts in price and performance in areas such as Cloud computing and commoditisation of telecommunications services. The real effect of that change has generally lagged due to legacy provider arrangements and market capability – and also the core work needed to re-align to the new market dynamics. However this change is largely inevitable and the supply community has clearly signalled at least the direction – if not the full implications of this change.
There are four major shifts that are relevant to sourcing telecommunications and communications solutions as enablers of business change.
- A continuing focus on Commoditisation of base telecommunications solutions. This is far more than simply reducing costs. It drives dramatic reduction in cost structures, removal of duplication and bespoke solutions and shifting of service to the customer. The implications are that traditional full service providers are getting leaner in order to survive, and that while ongoing cost reductions are extremely attractive to enterprise organisations they also come with reduced capability at the top end.
- Increasing use of Collaboration tools that fundamentally change traditional thinking about mobility, voice, video, machine and automated messaging, and “telecommunications” as separate components. Especially in information and interaction rich environment. Unified Communications is a term that starting to come of age and will move from being a useful tool sitting alongside a range of other tools to being the way people interact. The implication is that the strategy and roadmap must be built on forward looking user expectations and consider how all elements essential to seamless interaction across channels and technology integrate.
- The third shift is Consumerisation – allowing people to interact as and when they elect to do so. Consumers have been behaving in this way for some time, but the cost to serve consumers continues to grow in organisations that are not ready to leverage the multiple channel approach and complexity is driven into the consumer experience rather than out. People will expect to use whatever device suits them, wherever and whenever needed to communicate. The alternative is siloed interactions and resulting business cost structures. The implication is, as with Collaboration, that the strategy and roadmap must be built on forward looking user expectations and consider all interactions across channels.
- The final major shift is Big Data – the capture of rich information and the deliberate derivation of actionable insights that improve the customer experience, processes and outcomes.
What all these shifts mean in practice is that traditional silos of communication technology, processes and management are losing relevance, and traditional sourcing approaches no longer yield the business outcome gains necessary for enterprises to operate to or near their potential.
Traditional telecommunications will no longer be the method of consumption for organisations and considerable opportunity exists to realise benefits from the market changes.
The implications of these shifts are profound and significant. It is not simply a case of replacing one existing service for a new service under new terms. To realise the potential benefits organisations must take a new and clinical approach to how they architect and demark their services, and be prepared to shift the focus of effort and spend.
To discuss the topic further, please get in touch with the author, Paul Gordon, on 021 718 190.