The last few years have marked a turning point in the digital transformation of our society, causing a real acceleration of its digitization.
Between multiplication of challenges and adaptation of services, the telecommunications sector has had to rethink itself. More than a process of adaptation, it is actually a question of transforming oneself in substance and strategically. If the COVID-19 crisis subsides, it has given way to a war on our doorstep with the consequences we are experiencing at the moment.
Encouraged by necessary standards such as the GDPR, companies have become aware that this transformation is no longer an option, whatever their size, their activity and their market.
In this context, the telecommunications sector plays a vital role in connecting us to each other and supporting us in many aspects of our daily lives.
The health crisis has reinforced its vital character by gradually reducing the digital divide. This sector is now considered critical in the same way as that of the distribution and management of water, electricity or gas.
Telecom players are more than ever playing the role of strategic pillars for homes such as businesses, e-commerce, telemedicine and cyber resilience.
New connectivity and cloud needs
The digital transformation does not only imply a digitization of tools within the company, but a strategic overhaul to adapt to the new uses of customers and partners.
To do this, it relies on a direct correlation between cloud migration projects and connectivity. Companies must be able to continue their activities and cyberspace is asserting itself as an essential ecosystem in this continuity.
This situation has highlighted increased needs for companies in digital matters. In addition to connectivity with new requirements in terms of quality of service and speed, cloud, cybersecurity and even artificial intelligence offers are in demand. These new needs should enable suppliers to develop and offer value-added and integration service offerings.
Indeed, companies realized that their on-premises environment was no longer suitable and that they needed a more agile working environment to move forward. Migration to the cloud is an evolution that can only be confirmed in the future.
The observed acceleration of migrations to the cloud stems in particular from the need to transfer critical workloads. By 2030, the growth of the European cloud market is expected to soar. Gartner estimates that this public cloud market will be nearly $400 billion in 2022.
According to IDC, the cloud ecosystem as a whole, beyond just the public cloud, will weigh more than $1 trillion in 2024. In 2022, more than $1.3 trillion in enterprise IT spending is at stake due to to the cloud, and that figure will grow to nearly $1.8 trillion by 2025, according to Gartner.
By transforming the way we work, making telework the norm, the health crisis has accelerated the adoption of the cloud in business. Once considered a mere technological option, it has quickly become an essential element for the normal continuation of activities in all sectors.
Concretely, it facilitates real-time communication, mobility by eliminating geographical constraints, unprecedented knowledge of customer and market expectations thanks to data, automated and more agile business processes and even easier access to information.
The urgency of adapting bandwidth, particularly at the level of data centers and Internet service providers, was particularly notable. We note that network providers have invested heavily in infrastructure to meet the growing connectivity needs of businesses.
Customer relations and on-demand service, at the heart of telecommunications
Change management has been brought to the fore and globally network solution providers have had to cope by adapting their service offerings. During the health crisis, inflation and the war between Russia and Ukraine with the energy crisis, new measures were put in place.
From total or partial containment to the hybrid approach, network service providers have had to adapt with the deployment of on-demand services. They were also led to rethink the customer relationship by providing much more flexibility, scalability and profitability.
It is important for providers to invest in on-demand services and tailor them to business needs and expectations. Today’s provider puts enterprises in control of their networks and allows them to receive the connections they need in real time using SDN (Software Defined Networking) and NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) technologies.
The possibility of adapting its bandwidth to demand, by paying by the minute, by the hour or for a few days, is an important differentiating factor in this period of energy crisis. This enables a uniform customer experience regardless of the environment.
Network service providers will continue to invest in SDN as they move forward in the same way they have been able to help businesses transform the way they work during the pandemic.
The events of recent months have already led to a deeper awareness of the essential role that telecoms play for the economy, education, health and society as a whole. There is no doubt that the multiplication of uses of network services with 5G in particular represents one of the key factors for development and growth.
This new digital infrastructure should be the necessary technological vector, but will still require significant investments in infrastructure.
Questions that have long remained unanswered are being asked from a new angle: network resilience, infrastructure deployment and maintenance models, or managing the digital divide.
The actors and the public authorities must take advantage of this opportunity to perpetuate these debates and settle them, by capitalizing on the current awareness and the need to stand together to support our society and the cohesion of our territories. There are still many uncertainties about the scenarios for emerging from the crisis, particularly in terms of duration.
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