Need for new digital capabilities to address the 5G opportunity
The core competency of CSPs today is on network connectivity and hardware platforms. In order to truly transform themselves to a digital service provider, CSPs need to build new digital capabilities for service creation and service enablement with the flexibility and agility of internet players. Key imperatives include:
1. Platform-centric approach:
Hyper-scale internet players have created tremendous value by adopting a platform-based approach and building rich digital ecosystems. 5G gives the opportunity to CSPs to create B2B2C platform and enable new digital value chains. It is a great opportunity for CSPs to move from an infrastructure play to a more profitable platform play. The network needs to transform into a ‘digital platform’ and be delivered as a service to realize the digital market place.
2. Experience and design-led:
Digital transformation across industries has dramatically changed the expectations of customers. Customers of today expect that the best-in-class digital experience that they receive in one industry to be matched by providers in other industries. CSPs need to adopt an experience-led approach and harness platform APIs for personalized and consistent user experience. In order to create experience-driven products and services, CSPs need to take a design thinking approach. Serviceability and usability are today important differentiators for any product and service. The IT-telco convergence will help CSPs in realizing products and services similar to web-scale players. A design-led approach to delivering continuous value streams to customers in a rapidly changing market is important to be successful in the new paradigm.
Most of the implementations of 5G use cases will be brownfield implementations where the 5G solution needs to seamlessly integrate with existing business processes, IT systems, and operational technologies. Domain knowledge will be critical for implementing industry vertical-specific use cases for 5G. Consulting and advisory capabilities to build a business case, enterprise change management for enterprise-wide adoption of 5G solutions, service integration for integration with existing tools and processes, and embedding security by design into the overall solution will be critical success factors.
CSPs require a new ecosystem-led approach to address larger digital transformation
CSPs will need to invest in building these new digital capabilities to be a trusted partner for 5G-enabled digital transformation. In addition to the transformation of their workforce to build these new digital capabilities, CSPs will need to adopt an eco-system and open innovation-based approach. Specifically building a trusted and strategic partnership with the following eco-system players is critical:
- Device manufacturers
- Compute, Storage, network vendors
- Software Platform, API and application providers
- Cloud providers
- Data, analytics, and AI providers
- Security players
- Domain-specific system integrators with expertise on consulting & advisory services
- Other CSPs
- Open Source communities
- Standard bodies
Healthcare – An example of an ecosystem approach for 5G-enabled remote patient monitoring
The Healthcare segment is undergoing a transformation and the industry is transitioning to a value-based care model as against a fee-for-service approach with a focus on patient experience and patient outcomes. Remote patient monitoring is a great transformation lever for affordable healthcare services to the unserved and underserved segments of society and also for life-saving emergency situations. The following figure depicts a 5G-enabled remote patient monitoring solution which seamlessly works across hospitals, homes and outdoor mobile locations like a medical ambulance. In order to implement such a solution, CSPs will need to build new value chains and initiate partnerships with physicians, hospitals, insurance providers, medical device manufacturers, cloud providers, security providers, application providers, ambulance service providers and regulators.