BSS and OSS stacks are, on the cusp of MWC2018 and in the face of network and service evolution, either in a mess or performing sub-optimally (take your pick). There seems little point in engaging in a lengthy debate about which of those assertions is nearer to the truth when the general consensus seems to be that either way the status quo has to change. The question is how?
A couple of realities drive any consideration of the answer. These are:
- First, we know that CSP leaders have to decide and then be able to start leveraging a new, holistic view of their application architectures. Legacy O- and BSS doesn’t deliver this (or if it does, the instances it does so are rare).
- Secondly, we know there’s a “legacy conundrum” to solve. But how? In pursuit of greater efficiency and improved performance, what to do about legacy practices? When, and for how long during the period of O/BSS transformation can/should these remain valid?
- Three: If one of the core goals of modern service provision is automation then by definition the CIO v. LOB (Lines of Business) infromation architecture ownership debate must be addressed. What (or who) should prevail?
If we accept that change is inevitable then we need to ask how best to modernize CSP IT operations? The answer, building a collaborative architecture driven by both CIO and business requirements and capable of meeting the needs of both parties is easier to discuss conceptually than it is in practice. This, in part, is because there isn’t much practice or at least certainly not best practice in delivering such a framework. With that said, two things seem obvious:
Legacy components are not the future but they are the present. So we need to ponder the following:
- Short of an unrealistic total IT transformation, they need to be in some way catered for in the transition to the new architecture.
- But that should not be additive. CSPs should avoid further investments in outdated applications even while extending the shelf-life (where possible) of those they already have. To this extent, enterprise application vendors should have their hands held to the fire with regard to vision as well as functionality.
- Most likely, the path to the future lies in the separation of business, service, and resource layers. What will support achieving that?
These are critical questions. The analyst firm Gartner suggests that a “lack of architectural vision will erode ROI in operational technology applications for 80% of network-based CSPs through 2019”. The numbers suggest that if you’re reading this, you’re far more likely to be one of the struggling 80% than the focused 20%. In the next blog, we’ll look at first steps you can take to change that position.
If you want to continue this conversation personally in Barcelona, why not click here to book a meeting? Otherwise, look out for the next blog in our series.
Keith Brody is head of communications and product marketing at DigitalRoute