Lack of internal skills now biggest barrier to cloud-native adoption – poll result

  • TelecomTV held is fifth Cloud Native Telco Summit recently
  • As part of the summit we conducted a poll about barriers to cloud-native adoption
  • Lack of internal skills is now regarded as the main barrier
  • The need to support legacy technology, also regarded as a major hindrance

A lack of internal skills is now regarded as the main barrier to cloud-native adoption by telecom operators, according to the results of a poll held during TelecomTV’s fifth annual Cloud Native Telco Summit. 

The poll, which attracted responses from more than 200 respondents, asked: Cloud native is set to deliver substantial benefits to telcos, but what are the main challenges to adoption?

Respondents were able to select as many options as they thought relevant, and this year there is a slight shift in the results, as ‘Lack of internal skills’ attracted the most votes, with 57% of respondents selecting that option. In the poll we conducted a year ago, during our fourth Cloud Native Telco Summit, that response was the second most popular – you can see last year’s results in this article from late September 2022.

That the skills challenge has risen to the top of the poll suggests that telcos are now much more engaged in the nitty-gritty process of introducing cloud-native practices into their day-to-day operations and are finding themselves short of the experience needed to take full advantage of cloud-native operations.

But the skills challenge isn’t the only major barrier to cloud-native adoption.

As the chart above shows, a significant 50% of respondents identified the ‘Need to retain legacy systems and apps/functions’ as a major barrier – that option has also risen up the ranks from last year, when it was the fourth most popular choice in our poll. Again, it is likely that this reflects the progress that network operators are making with their cloud-native strategies and the real-world challenges they are facing as they aim to become cloud-native telcos. Overcoming the challenge of having to run and manage legacy systems while adopting cloud-native principles and processes is something that is likely to take many years as operators grapple with the migration of services and customers from existing systems to their cloud-based platforms. 

The burden of an ‘Incompatible existing operational structure’ is still regarded as a major barrier by 49% of our respondents, so that is still significant – last year, though, that was regarded as the main barrier, so maybe this is a small sign that positive change is happening within telcos. 

And perhaps the most significant difference year to year is the change in the volume of votes for the option ‘Unsure how best to implement cloud native’ – last year that was regarded as a major barrier by 49% of respondents, but this year that number has dropped by 37%. For our summit attendees, at least, telcos are now more clued up about how to implement cloud native. 

For the three remaining options, the results were little different to a year ago, with a third of respondents still believing that an ongoing failure to understand the benefits of cloud native is still a major barrier for telcos. 

So those are the latest insights from our summit attendees on the topic of cloud native – but what does the community think about the hot topic of artificial intelligence? Check out our AI-Native Telco Summit poll here.  

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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