Is this the year digital trends finally make an impact?
When you think about it - everything is built on trends. Music, art, and especially technology.
Every year we see a new ‘trend’ emerging within our market - and 2022 looks set to be the same, with a multitude of digital tech trends set to make waves across the industry. But with new trends and themes emerging every year, and some reoccurring from years before - it’s hard to know what to believe.
Despite the fact that the traditional telecoms industry is great at making statements about ‘trends’, it has historically been less convincing when it comes to delivering real progress. But, could that all be about to change?
From investing in 5G, to harnessing automation, or supporting the deskless workforce, the idea of a digital transformation has been a hot topic amongst telcos. Here’s why 2022 may just be the year that finally sees a tangible change take place in the telecoms market:
Cloud can finally shape the future
For a notable change to occur, there needs to be some sort of general consensus. We know that, even if the rest of the industry hasn’t always been as quick off the mark. But in light of the pandemic, there seems to have been a shift in mentality - especially when it comes to the cloud.
Businesses are finally tapping into the amazing potential cloud-based communication offers, and this needs to continue developing over the next 12 months.
Nearly all organisations (91%) have moved one or more applications to a new IT environment over the last 12 months. Many businesses will have installed Zoom or some other form of virtual communication. With people working remotely and needing to collaborate effectively, not lose touch and stay connected as a business, IT teams are looking for the next best cloud based solution to integrate their applications. Telcos need to be ahead of the game and ready to offer this.
5G growing into what it was originally meant to be
This has been an elephant in the room for some time now. But after various delays, the 5G rollout appears to be in a very healthy position - and this has been a massive move for the telecoms industry. However, while 5G continues to become a reality, expectations from consumers will continue to soar.
If consumers are getting access to 5G they're going to expect better products, pricing and services from their broadband and mobile provider. Equally, business people with 5G enabled iPads aren't going to tolerate slow instant messaging platforms. Better consumer tech means telcos are under pressure. Telcos simply can’t afford to rest on their laurels and must continue to invest and innovate in what will continue to be a key space for them to occupy.
The day-to-day benefits of 5G and the impressive volume of data transmissions it allows users to enjoy is hugely positive. So although this trend is relatively still in its infancy, it’s predicted to generate about $2.2 billion for the world economy over the next 15 years. It’s this sort of impact that will see 5G grow from a digital trend, to an integral part of our lives that we can’t live without.
In the face of rising innovation, security must keep up!
Innovation is all well and good but security is critical. And as innovation grows, so does the desire to ensure the market exists in a secure environment. We’ve already seen the UK Government begin to force change into the industry, with the Telecoms Security Bill and telcos must now match this sense of urgency.
Afterall, security threats are only getting stronger and more complex to tackle. For example, when performing security analysis of mobile operator networks and corporate information systems, the GSMA 5G security report suggests experts routinely find dangerous configuration flaws. According to the report, flexibility in 5G networks comes at the cost of increased complexity and settings to monitor. This flexibility means a strong likelihood of security-busting configuration mistakes. Telcos must hold themselves accountable, ensuring they’re one step ahead in the face of innovation.
The customer knows best
The customer experience needs to remain at the heart of digital innovation. The telecoms industry has managed for a long time with mediocre customer experiences - but with more people leaving big providers than joining, it’s time for telcos to wake up and realise that the customer journey is the utmost priority.
With digital start ups on the market offering services at lower prices thanks to customer focus and efficient operation - it’s going to be difficult to keep customers happy without innovation and restructuring.
The telecoms market is also exposed alongside other tech industries. Customers are used to seamless operations on the likes of Netflix, Spotify and Revolut. We no longer accept complicated solutions that take time and energy to administer. Telcos need to value their customers and their needs above anything else in order to keep themselves in business.
What happens next?
2022 will undoubtedly be a pressure cooker for the telecoms industry. As competition continues to heat up, consumers will demand more, and outdated technology will end up having to move aside. But whilst it’s true that there are challenges, there are also big opportunities for the industry to become even more integral to economies and society.
To summarise, Telcos shouldn’t see digital trends as a tick box exercise.The customer must come first and remain at the heart of all innovation or else telcos will fail and fall behind.