Cultural change key to cloud-native success – poll result

  • Telcos are embracing cloud-native processes and tools
  • It’s part of their evolution towards being digital service providers
  • But the cloud-native journey is still in its early stages
  • Real cultural change is needed if telcos are to capitalise fully on the cloud-native opportunities

The adoption of cloud-native methodologies, processes and tools is a challenging but necessary step for communications service providers (CSPs) that are transitioning into digital service providers (DSPs), but gaining the most from the transition will require significant upheaval within CSPs themselves, according to the results of a recent TelecomTV poll. 

We’ve been banging the cloud-native drum for years already and, indeed, will soon be hosting our fifth Cloud Native Telco Summit (12 - 14 September): The topic was also the focus of a session, Why cloud native is essential to delivering the automation, agility and innovation needed to support new services, at our recent DSP Leaders World Forum event in Windsor, which was co-hosted by Orange’s CTIO for Europe, Arnaud Vamparys – see The Orange guide to cloud-native automation.

Alongside that session we ran a poll to ask our in-person and online DSP Leaders World Forum audience the following question – How can DSPs maximise the cloud-native opportunities? 

Respondents were able to select all the options they deemed relevant.

And the feedback from our community was very clear, as 75% of all those who voted selected the option ‘Make real cultural changes throughout their companies’. 

This has cropped up time and time again in recent years – introducing new processes and deploying new technologies is simply not enough to make the cloud native transition. Top-down cultural change is required, which is one of the reasons why companies we have traditionally called telcos are now starting to adopt different terms to describe themselves, such as techcos (tech communications companies) or even an AI company in the case of South Korea’s SK Telecom.

A long way behind in the voting was the option ‘Create closer partnerships with public cloud providers’, which attracted the support of 45% of respondents. This, of course, is something that many telcos are already doing for multiple reasons, with the resources and scale offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud becoming ever more important to the day-to-day operations of many CSPs. 

Of less importance, with votes from just 35% of respondents, was the option ‘Work with SDOs [standards development organisations] to shift and align standards’, while only 31% of respondents believe that DSPs can maximise their cloud-native opportunities by becoming more active in open-source communities. 

Perhaps surprisingly, the option to ‘Improve developer relations and support’ attracted votes from just 25% of respondents: This seems at odds with the perceived importance of improving such relationships if DSPs are to make the most of their cloud-native capabilities, particularly those related to the exposure of their next-generation network platforms. 

So be sure to check out the upcoming Cloud Native Telco Summit session on cloud-native application development to see what the industry experts have to say.

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV