* Mohamad Dergham
The ICT industry is shifting towards emerging technology platforms, taking with it entire cities, and enabling innovation and growth throughout their industries. As the world becomes more digital, Network Vendors have to explore revolutionary solutions in order to provide their customers with the ability to encompass a shift to the connected world.
On the journey towards the Networked Society, where people will live and work in Smart Cities in a completely connected world, the solutions offered by today’s operators have to be sufficient for tomorrow’s ICT transformation.
Who’s leading this ICT transformation?
Interestingly, it’s the consumer that is creating a demand for digital services, products and solutions sometimes extending beyond what the operator, as a point of individual customer service, is able to provide.
Until fairly recently, providing data and connectivity for digital devices, allowing the end users to increase connectivity from an on demand basis to continuous connectivity and communication across multiple channels including talk, message, VoIP, social applications and internet services was enough.
However, with the increase in data offerings, the promulgation of social media, the demand for wearables and applications forced operators to explore increasing their network bandwidth. In addition, these demands also began to seep into non-digital enterprises, compelling them to enter the digital sphere so that they can meet customers’ increased requirements.
Today, we are witnessing the convergence between the telecoms, IT and media domains and bridging them is key to the ongoing transformation within the industry that is not only a focus for telecom operators but also enterprise and government segments as well. As a result, the traditional customer segment boundaries are merging. Overall, customers and governments in the Middle East and Africa region are strong advocates for ICT and we have seen many indicators of rapid economic change thanks to ICT uptake in different countries within the region.
In the Networked Society, immediate information, interaction and collaboration will continue to create innovative ways to meet the needs of people, business and society. Network vendors must capture these opportunities and work together with customers, partners and consumers to stay relevant by broadening their capabilities and establishing a strategic direction.
ICT Transformation is driven by the global vision of a Connected Planet with major initiatives that are being enabled by key ICT solutions and foundational products and services. There is a bright future for service companies that embrace this next generation service approach. It demands a shift away from technology-led to business outcome-led solutions.
As a result, operators are taking on an increasingly strategic role within a variety of industries. The rise of the Smart City is becoming increasingly dependent on them. Those operators that can provide global best practice solutions and ensure successful advanced networking deployments will be the market leaders.
Head of Ericsson North Middle East *