Telcos have been very cautious to date about putting the crown jewels of their business in the cloud, but in 2017, they will finally embrace cloud software to boost their operational agility.
Likewise, the cloud players will start to get industry-specific with their offerings, tailoring each for different vertical sectors. Net Promoter Scores will start to appear in CSP quarterly financial reports, as the metric becomes the leading litmus test of customer experience and therefore loyalty and long-term shareholder value.
Digital strategies will move into the execution phase for most CSPs - the days of talking about strategy are over. Investors and financial analysts will start scoring their efforts and winners or losers will emerge.
The omni-channel approach - interacting with customers seamlessly as they swap between multiple devices - will see the end of siloed information and interaction.
There will be a proliferation of on-demand business models across telecommunications and also other vertical sectors, especially in developing regions – Latin America and Southeast Asia are seeing the first implementations of pre-paid electricity.
Big Transformation projects will become extinct, with those that are in process eclipsed by rapid-start cloud offerings that deliver real business value within months. The acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T is not a one-off. M&A activity will pick up pace during 2017, as bigger telcos push full-force into transforming into media and internet companies - to meet the needs of the ‘on-demand’ digital economy.