After almost two decades working in the telecoms industry and seeing with my own eyes so many transformations and huge changes, I couldn't agree more with Gartner. "By 2025, 70% of new applications developed by organizations will use low-code or no-code technologies, up from less than 25% in 2020."
But it's also no big secret that, with the restrictions on physical activities, COVID-19 forced us to see the benefits of going digital. From e-commerce to M2M to IoT to work-from-home to automation to shorter time-to-market, we all had a sneak peek at the good results digital transformation brings. And that is just the tip of the iceberg: Empowered with low code, CSPs embracing digital transformation can really outpace OTTs at their own game. How? I have listed some of the biggest advantages of going all digital. Feel free to comment and write back your questions and feedback.
Due to the nature of the telecoms business, most CSP networks have a heterogeneous mix of legacy platforms and island solutions for various products. It is not unusual that many of those platforms have already reached end-of-life/end-of-service and their maintenance translates into huge operational costs. A digital transformation that enables virtualized services not only lowers OPEX but allows individualization for key businesses that can drive customer retention up.
Moreover, the possibility to tailor their solution to the exact needs of a certain group of users, CSPs improve customer retention. While global OTT services can't be tailored to the needs of, for example, the SoHo and SMEs markets, low code allows differentiated solutions even for different verticals. By offering real product differentiation from their competitors and not only a better pricing strategy, CSPs can achieve higher margins per user.
Lastly but not least, with privacy protection and data compliance taking the spotlight around the world, CSPs have been dealt a winning hand against OTTs that host user data in foreign countries (mostly in the US). After all, CSPs are a local, secure and familiar business both for the public and private sectors, and they can offer convergent services that interact with all third-party AI and IoT apps, as well as open APIs that comply with the local regulations and requirements.
Reaction times in the telecoms industry have been historically long: The complexity of the telecoms networks, the huge number of third-party vendors involved in a project, the amount of decision-makers … But COVID also showed CSPs that they could react faster to stay competitive. And CSPs now have low code.
Long gone are the times when CSPs needed to invest time and resources to be able to make the jump to a different environment (development, testing and live) to bring new services online: going from development to user-acceptance to live environment, everything was costly and slow. Now, with continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), CSPs are able, with the push of a button, to move whatever they want between different environments, reducing time, resources and costs, while delivering results much faster and with better quality.
A low-code platform for telecoms allows CSPs to help their customers embark on their own digital journey. As low-code and no-code user interfaces are based in building blocks, customers themselves can create and individualize their own services to better serve their business outcomes. And, if their end customers are getting better business outcomes, CSPs' businesses will be doing just as good.