The migration to cloud native brings large-scale shifts for the communications service providers (CSPs), including:
- The move to microservices
- Standardized access to these microservices via API exposure
- The integration of multiple operational layers and domains for application management
- Automation across the application lifecycle through the use of DevOps
These are profound changes to the application development and management environment of the CSPs, and will be tackled with dedicated internal resources and expanded partnerships with telecommunication equipment vendors (TEMs), integrators and hyperscalers.
To gauge how carriers are planning and implementing cloud-native technology, and in collaboration with Juniper, Nokia and Red Hat, Heavy Reading asked 92 global telco service providers about their plans for transition to cloud native. In our report, "The Journey to Cloud Native," Heavy Reading analyzes the choices service providers are making along the road to cloud native and what challenges they are encountering along the way.
The prospect of cloud native: A little hazy, but clearing
Heavy Reading queried the survey pool about where they were experiencing the greatest challenge in deploying cloud native: the network, operations support systems (OSS), business support systems (BSS), or the enterprise (see Figure 1). Heavy Reading established earlier in the survey that cloud native will be deployed first for network workloads. Respondents plan to transition workloads to the OSS business areas next, then BSS, and lastly, the enterprise.
In almost all cases, respondents ranked the challenges in that same order: first network, then OSS, BSS, and enterprise. The only challenges that were considered more severe in an area other than the network were "in-house development and integration skills" and "development and integration tooling," where the OSS space was recognized as a greater challenge than the network. This is not surprising given that most Tier 1 carriers have dozens of OSS solutions in operation. They do much of any integration work between systems internally and some OSS systems are stand-alone – dedicated to siloed services.
Looking only at the survey results from respondents who have already deployed cloud native, (see figure 2), which is half of the respondent pool, there are significant differences compared to the rest of the survey base. In the network area, "tools to deploy and operate at scale" is a greater challenge by 11 percentage points compared to respondents planning to deploy cloud native in one to two years.
"Budget" in the OSS area plummets between those who have not yet deployed cloud native, (57% of respondents considering it a challenge), and those who have already deployed cloud native, (27% of the respondents finding it to be a concern).
Those who have already deployed cloud native also consider all of the challenges in the enterprise area to be greater than the survey base as a whole and all of the challenges in the BSS area to be less of a challenge. Their firsthand experience with implementing cloud native in the network area has opened their eyes to the challenges that await them in the enterprise space. However, they are more confident that they have the support needed, near term, for BSS tasks which include billing, revenue, and customer management.
Read the full report for more cloud-native insights
Our findings are a good indication that CSPs today are committed to their journey to cloud native, but face challenges that will require expanded partnerships with the cloud-native ecosystem, including platform vendors, ISVs, TEMs and hyperscalers. To gain more in-depth details of service providers’ perspective on cloud-native migration, download and read the full report now.
— Jennifer Clark, Principal Analyst, Cloud Infrastructure and Edge Computing, Heavy Reading
This blog is sponsored by Heavy Reading.